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June 26, 2015

July Fourth Fireworks: Awesome for Humans, Terrifying for Pets

Tips for keeping your dogs, cats and other pets safe and happy during summer celebrations

  • Loud noises can terrify pets, so don't include them when celebrations will include fireworks. The HSUS.

Many people enjoy the booming sounds and flashing lights of fireworks, but they can be terrifying and overwhelming for pets, and possibly hazardous.

On the Fourth of July, so many pets are frightened and try to escape the sights and sounds that animal shelters around the nation report a dramatic increase in lost pets during the holiday.

Help your pets keep their cool: Follow our four steps for making them safe during loud—and hot—warm weather festivities.

  

1. Keep your pet safely away from fireworks

Our pets are more sensitive to loud noises, flashing lights and strong smells, so on the Fourth of July (and the days around it when people are likely to set off fireworks), it's best to leave your pets safely indoors, preferably with a radio or TV turned on to hide jarring noises.

Even pets who are usually kept outdoors should be brought inside. And if you are going to an Independence Day event and cannot leave your pet unattended at home, keep her leashed and under your direct control at all times.

2. If your pet is scared by fireworks, ask a veterinarian for help 

There are medications and techniques that might help alleviate your pet's fear and anxiety. You can also try our suggestions for helping your dog cope with loud noises.

3. Protect your pet from heat stroke during summer festivities

Another reason to keep your pets away from the often noisy celebrations of summer is heat. High temperatures put your pet at risk of heat stroke, which can become deadly very quickly. Keep an eye on your pets and act immediately if you see any signs of heatstroke.

Learn more about keeping your pet safe in the heat »

Never leave your pet in a parked car, even if the day doesn’t seem that warm. Even when the temperature outside is a balmy 72 degrees, the temperature inside your car can rocket to a fatal 116 degrees in less than an hour’s time.

4. Safeguard your pet with a collar and I.D. tag

All pets, even those kept indoors full-time, should always wear collars with ID tags. Indoor-only pets can become so frightened during fireworks displays that they may take desperate measures to escape the noise, including breaking through window or door screens. It’s also a good idea to have your pet microchipped.

If your pet does become lost, contact your local animal control and surrounding shelters immediately and follow the rest of The HSUS’s advice for finding your pet.

If you find a lost pet, either take her to the address on her tag or bring her to the local animal shelter so she can be reunited with her family.

We're devoted to helping people protect their pets. Read about them! »

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