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Fireworks Safety and the 4th of July


Think it’s too early to start thinking about fireworks and the 4th of July? Think again. It’s time to start prepping your dog now. Loud “BOOMS” in the sky start well before the holiday. In addition, it takes time to prepare and desensitize your pet.

  • Fireworks usually mean celebration, but for dogs the noise can mean something very different

  • We all know fireworks can be dangerous, but they can also be poisonous

  • Make sure your dog is ready for the 4th of July! Don't leave your preparations until the last minute.


How to keep your pets happy and safe this Fourth of July

From fireworks to barbecues, many of the things we humans enjoy about Independence Day aren't necessarily as much fun for our four-legged friends.

Loud noises and large crowds can be scary for animals, so fireworks aren't really their thing. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, July 5 is the busiest day of the year for most shelters. In 2013, one shelter says it saw a 140 percent increase in lost pets after the Fourth.

As you consider whether to invite your furry friends to join in the festivities this weekend, check out these tips before making a decision:

    Get your pets inside well before it gets dark. Even outdoor cats should be brought inside for the night.

Close up your house -- scared animals are great escape artists and will find a way out.

To lessen the startling boom of fireworks, leave on the TV or radio for background noise.

Make sure your animals are wearing ID tags and, if they're microchipped, that the information is up-to-date.

  • If you do lose your pet, don't wait to start looking. Knock on doors, call your local shelter and check Craigslist.
  • Fireworks aren't the only Fourth of July issue pet owners should consider. Keep an eye on your little ones all day long.

      Don't leave alcoholic beverages where animals can reach them. Pets get drunk too, and it's not fun or safe for them.

    Keep matches, lighter fluid and citronella products out of reach. All contain chemicals that can be dangerous for pets.

  • While glow necklaces might be a hit with kids playing outside after dark, they're not a good idea for animals. The luminescent chemicals can cause gastrointestinal irritation, and you don't want them eating the plastic tubing and connectors either.

  • Check out more Fourth of July Safety Tips from the ASPCA.


    July 4th pet owner guide: Fireworks safety, picnic items to keep out of reach and more tips

    From watching fireworks to grilling outside, all the things we humans enjoy about Independence Day aren't necessarily as much fun for our four-legged friends. While you may want to invite Rocky and Bailey to join in the festivities, check out these tips before making a decision.

    Loud noises and large crowds can be scary for animals, so fireworks aren't really their thing. According to the American Humane Society, the 5th of July is the busiest day of the year for most shelters.

    • Get your pets inside well before it gets dark. Even outdoor cats should be brought inside for the night. Make sure they are safe from loud noises and flashes of light while inside.
    • If you know that your pets are startled by loud noises, have someone stay at home with them if you end up leaving the house to celebrate the holiday.
    • Close up your house - scared animals are great escape artists and will find a way out.
    • To lessen the startling boom of fireworks, leave on the TV or radio for background noise.
    • Make sure your animals are wearing ID tags and if they're microchipped that the information is up to date.
    • Contact a veterinarian before the holiday if you believe your pets should be tranquilized
    • If you do lose your pet, don't wait to start looking. Knock on doors, call your local shelter and check Craigslist.

    Fireworks aren't the only Fourth of July issue pet owners should consider. Keep an eye on your little guys all day long.

    • Don't leave alcoholic beverages where animals can reach them. Pets get drunk too and it's not fun or safe for them.
    • Keep matches, lighter fluid, and citronella products out of reach. All contain chemicals that can be dangerous for pets.
    • Glow jewelry can be fun for after-dark festivities, but they don't mix well with pets. The luminescent chemicals can cause gastrointestinal irritation and you don't want them eating the plastic tubing and connectors either.

    Check out more Fourth of July Safety Tips from the ASPCA.

    Editor's note: This story was originally published in 2014 and has been updated.


    Pets & Fireworks: What Could Go Wrong?

    (Picture Credit: D-Keine/Getty Images)

    Fireworks can make the Fourth of July the scariest night of the year for dogs. The sudden, deafening sounds — what’s loud to us is ear-piercing to them — and bursts of light in the sky can elicit serious anxiety, if not downright terror.

    Plus, shelters see the highest number of intakes on July 5th, the day after Independence Day, as dogs can easily get spooked by exploding fireworks and flee into the night.

    But it’s not just fear that can present a danger to our pets. Dogs have been known to try and attack fireworks or firecrackers, eat them, catch them, or try to play with them, sometimes resulting in horrible injuries — and even death.

    In 2010 a dog tried to fetch a lit firework, and it exploded in his mouth. The resulting wounds on the German Shepherd’s mouth and face were so severe the dog had to be euthanized. Dogs who’ve had run-ins with bottle rockets and mortars have been burned, have damaged limbs, and have even lost eyes as a result.

    “People toss a firework or firecracker in the air, and the dog jumps up, swallows it, and the firecrackers cause severe damage to the external organs,” Colorado veterinarian Eliza Mazzaferro explains.

    Dr. Mazzaferro says fireworks can cause injuries in less direct ways, too. “Pets get anxious and break out of kennels, jump through windows and get lacerations, and when loose, can get hit by cars,” Dr. Mazzaferro says.

    Very anxious pets can and sometimes do hurt themselves trying to flee from the unsettling sounds of fireworks. “I have seen them bite through a metal cage and injure their teeth and gums, and also jump through plate glass windows,” explains Dr. Mazzaferro. “They try to escape the noise, not knowing that it is outside.”


    Watch the video: Fireworks safety for the 4th of July (July 2021).