Fourth of July Pet Safety

dog with American flag in background.

While the 4th of July is a joyful holiday for most, it can cause significant fear for your pets. With a little bit of preparation and a few precautions, you can help minimize this stress. Keep reading for some tips on Fourth of July pet safety.

A Word About Identification

More pets go missing on and around the Fourth of July than any other holiday. The root cause of this is, of course, fireworks. Since pets respond to a fight-or-flight instinct, they bolt when they hear something they perceive as imminently threatening. This could mean they flee right out of the front door, hop the fence, or even squeeze their way through an open car window. 

A lost or missing pet is a scary situation any time of the year, but during parades, firework shows, and massive traffic events, this separation from home and beloved humans can be absolutely terrifying for pets. What’s worse is that pets on their own have an increased risk of being hit by a car, getting attacked, or sustaining life-threatening injuries. 

Updating Microchips

It’s not enough to simply replace old, worn ID tags on a pet’s collar because these can be removed or fall off. Pet microchips, on the other hand, provide an extra layer of protection if/when a pet gets lost or goes missing. If your address or phone number has changed since you registered your pet’s chip, we encourage you to update the account. 

Noise Anxiety

If your pet is new to you this year, stay with them on the Fourth of July to learn how they react to the fireworks and other noises. Provide a quiet, comforting space for them with dim lighting, favorite toys, and comfy bedding. Have lots of fresh water on hand and tasty snacks to distract them. 

In the event that you can’t get to your pet prior to fireworks shows, ask a friend or neighbor to check in on your pet. 

Other Tips for Success and Safety

To help keep your pet as safe and happy as possible this Fourth of July, check out these tips:

  • Inspect your home’s window screens and doorways for possible escape routes. Take a look at fencing and gates to ensure your pet can’t dig beneath or hope above to escape. 
  • Don’t allow your pet to get close to any BBQ grill or firepit. Be sure to have lots of tasty treats on hand to distract them away from possible dangers.
  • Have an eye on potentially toxic or dangerous items, including BBQ skewers, alcoholic drinks, chocolate, and more.
  • If swimming or water recreation is part of your plan, be sure that your pet has a snug-fitting life jacket.

If you need assistance this Fourth of July, please reach out to us at (615) 646‑7387. Our team at Harpeth Hills Animal Hospital is always happy to help.