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, many pets become so frightened by the noise and commotion of fireworks that they run from otherwise familiar environments and people, and sadly become lost. 

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

1. Keep your pet safely away from fireworks

Pets are more sensitive to loud noises, flashing lights and strong smells. On the Fourth of July, and other days 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 soften jarring noises. Even pets who are usually kept outdoors should be brought inside.

If you are going to an Independence Day event and cannot leave your pet unattended at home, keep them 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.

NEVER leave your pet in a parked car, even if the day doesn’t seem that warm. The temperature outside may be a balmy 72 degrees, but the temperature inside a closed vehicle can rocket to a fatal 116 degrees in less than an hour.

Also remember that hot pavement can be dangerous to unprotected paws; if it’s too hot for you to hold your hand to the ground for five seconds, it's not safe for your dog to walk on.

4. Safeguard your pet with a collar and ID 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 windows or door screens. You should also ensure that your pet is microchipped and that the chip is properly registered with your current contact information.

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

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