Keeping your dogs safe on the 4th

Posted By elaine on June 28, 2010

The 4th of July is my favorite holiday.  I always find myself in the mountains somewhere enjoying the festivites.  While I love the holiday, many pets do not.  Many animals hear and see fireworks and run off into the night on the 4th

In fact July 5th is the busiest day for most animal shelters.   “4th of July dogs” are often rescued by animal control officers and good Samaritans, but many end of getting hit on roadways or meet other sticky ends.  I have known a few dogs in my day, including my sister’s Sheltie, Monte that seemed so easy going and one loud 4th of July night he tore out of a screen door and was hit on a highway.

It is a sad story, but a preventable one by just simply planning ahead and taking some basic precautions.  Here is a list put together by the Humane Society of the United States.

Leave them at home

Resist the urge to take your pet to fireworks displays. They can be disorienting and frightening to pets, even those used to going places with their people. 

Don’t leave your pet in the car

With only hot air to breathe inside a car, your pet can suffer serious health effects—even death—in a few short minutes. Partially opened windows do not provide sufficient air.  I know I preach about this often but seriously, even with 80-degree temps and shade, your dog could parish very quickly.  In the evening when it is cooler it is still a bad call, the noise and bright flashing lights of the fireworks could cause your dog to tear up your car and break out partially opened windows letting them escape.

Give them shelter

Keep your pets indoors at home in a sheltered, quiet area. Some animals can become destructive when frightened, so be sure that you’ve removed any items that your pet could destroy or that would be harmful to your pet if chewed. Leave a television or radio playing at normal volume to keep him company while you’re attending Fourth of July picnics, parades and other celebrations.  I suggest ‘”crating” them in a cool quiet room. 


If you know that your pet is seriously distressed by loud noises like thunder, consult with your veterinarian before July 4 for ways to help alleviate the fear and anxiety he or she will experience during fireworks displays.   I am not a huge fan of sedatives, but if they are extreme this might be the time to use them under a veterinarians care. 

Pay attention

Never leave pets outside unattended, even in a fenced yard or on a chain. In their fear, pets who normally wouldn’t leave the yard may escape and become lost, or become entangled in their chain, risking injury or death.

Tag it

Make sure your pets are wearing identification tags so that if they do become lost, they can be returned promptly. I myself have tags AND microchip.  If you find animals found running at-large should be taken to the local animal shelter, where they will have the best chance of being reunited with their owners.  If you don’t want to leave them there at least let the shelter know that you have them so if someone comes looking for them they can pass on your information.

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