So we are only days away from one of the biggest holidays in the US. The Fourth of July is one big party with family, friends and in some cases whole neighborhoods, getting together to enjoy picnics, barbecues and of course, fireworks.

Whilst this is a fun time for us humans, these festivities can be frightening and even dangerous for animals. Obviously the noise from fireworks will often startle the most calm animal whilst the excess food and drink, in the wrong mouths, can potentially be life threatening.  And even when the festivities are over, debris from the fireworks lying on the ground can be a tantalizing “toy” to your cat or dog.

So this 4th of July it might be prudent to take precautions and keep your pets safe both during and after the celebrations.

Advanced Preparations:

  • Ensure your cats and dogs have up to date identification tags that are easily visible with clear instructions on who to call should they be found somewhere other than home. If you have horses, leave a safety (breakaway) halter on your horse with your contact details marked clearly.
  • Hopefully your pets are already microchipped, but if not get it done asap. This simple method ensures you have a far greater chance of recovering your pet if it gets lost at any time of year, not just for the 4th. 
  • If you already have your pet microchipped it may have information from when you first had it done, this could be years ago and several addresses later, so make sure your contact information in the microchip registry is up-to-date.
  • Having a current photo on hand of all your pets will also speed up recovery if they take off.
  • If you know your pet is likely to be anxious during the fireworks i.e. historically they have reacted to loud noises, then consider speaking to your vet to see if they can prescribe any medication to help them cope with the evening celebrations.
  • Make sure all fencing and gates in your yard or pasture is secure enough to contain your pet should it get anxious and try and run.

During the Celebrations:

  • Don’t take your pets to the party with you. The loud noise accompanied with an unfamiliar place, people and crowds will spook your pet far more than just the noise.  Leaving them at home will make them feel more secure due to the familiar surroundings to be able to deal with the excess noise.
  • You may like to consider allocating one room that has no windows or might be more sound proofed than another to house your pets for the evening. If you feel they might feel more secure in a crate then use that option.
  • If you are hosting the party make all your guests aware of where you pets are located and ask them to be vigilant in closing doors and gates. 
  • Keep your pets inside at all times so they are protected from sparklers, the grill, fireworks, charcoal and kabob skewers.
  • Ensure your pets do not have access to the party food; this type of food is often the most toxic to animals and can cause death.

After the Party is Over

  • Before letting your pets run free in your yard check the area for fireworks and food scraps, in fact any debris that could be harmful to a a curious pet.
  • Do the same for your pastures, you may be surprised how many fireworks have found their way onto your land.