Pet Safety this July 4th 2024

Tomorrow, we will unite as a country to celebrate our nation’s independence. July 4th is the most celebrated holiday of the summer, bringing family and close friends together for backyard barbecues, days spent on the boat, and local festivals within numerous communities. Along with these festivities comes the expected food and drinks, and the more highly sought-after fireworks shows. As we enjoy our day of celebration, it is important to keep our pets and wild animals in the front of our minds, as they may not particularly enjoy the day of celebration that we look forward to as a nation.

Keeping our pets safe and monitored is the best way to ensure that they remain as comfortable as possible while we celebrate. Please be mindful of the following:

Alcoholic Beverages

Never leave alcoholic beverages unattended when your pets are around. If they consume alcohol, they can quickly become intoxicated, weak, or depressed. In severe cases, respiratory failure, a coma, or even death can occur.

K-9 Care Sunscreen, Paws to Tail Protection, Prevents Sunburns on Dogs and  Horses, Sun Protector Spray, SPF 30+, Non-Greasy/Oily Solution – 3.5 ozSunscreen

Never apply sunscreen to your pet that is not specifically labeled for animals. There are dangerous chemicals in sunscreen that if ingested, can cause excess drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy.

Insect Repellent

Do not apply insect repellent to your pet unless it is specifically labeled for animals. The misuse of repellent containing DEET can lead to neurological disorders within your pet.

Matches and Lighter Fluid

If eaten, some matches could contaminate your pet with certain chemicals, which can lead to damaged blood cells and difficulty breathing.

If Lighter fluid is ingested, it can cause skin irritations and gastrointestinal issues, and sometimes central nervous system depression can occur. If the lighter fluid is inhaled, pneumonia and breathing problems could develop.

Glow Jewelry

Gastro-intestinal irritation and excessive drooling could occur if ingested.

Do Citronella Candles Work? Repellents to Try InsteadCitronella candles, insect coils, and tiki torch oil

Ingestion of any of these can cause stomach irritation and potential central nervous system depression. If inhaled, the oils can cause aspiration pneumonia in pets.

Your pet’s diet

Keeping your pet on their usual diet is very important during this time of celebration. A normal feeding schedule will keep consistency in their life. Avoid allowing others to feed your pet scraps, because there are a lot of toxic foods that can be dangerous or fatal if ingested.

            Chocolate, onions, coffee, avocado, grapes, raisins, salt and yeast dough are some of these dangerous foods for your pet.

Loud noises

If your pet has a fear of loud noises, consider leaving them indoors while you enjoy your celebration outdoors. Keep them in a quiet room, perhaps without windows, if possible. Playing quiet music or leaving a TV on could keep outside noises from overwhelming them. Give them a toy to keep them occupied and use an anxiety vest if needed.


Pets and wild animals can become extremely frightened by the noise and commotion that comes from fireworks which causes them to run away from the sound and potentially become lost.

Amidst Heightened Wildfire Risk, People Urged To Limit, 56% OFFBright flashes cause deer and coyotes to run into roadways which can lead to more accidents than normal.

Debris from fireworks casings can be mistaken by wild animals and eaten or fed to their young. These materials are indigestible and toxic and can result in choking or death of the animal that consumed it. The debris can also be washed into waterways, contaminating the drinking water of wild animals as well as the habitat of the fish that live in the water.

Birds have a particularly hard time adjusting to the fireworks sounds and lights. They can completely abandon their nests, flying for an extended amount of time out of fear, and exhaust themselves to the point in which they don’t have enough energy to return to their nests. It is even reported that some birds will fly so far out into the sea or large bodies of water that they don’t have the energy to make it safely back to land. The contaminants that come from fireworks are toxic to the birds if they fly high to escape the sounds and lights.

How your pet is triggered by fireworks:

  • They hear up to 60,000hz (compared to humans who hear 20,000hz) so the explosions are more intense for them
  • The fireworks go off without warning, triggering a startle response
  • Acute anxiety and fear are generated by this response
  • They respond with a racing heart, a surge of adrenaline, and a need to flee

If you plan to leave your pet outdoors with you during your festivities, be sure to leaver a collar with a tag on them in case they run away. Microchipping is also very effective for this situation.

Animal shelters have reported that the influx of lost dogs is highest following the 4th of July than any other holiday.

Have a safe and happy Fourth of July, and remember to keep your pets safe and comfortable this holiday weekend!

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