The Humane Society of the United States reminds people that pets can become distressed by the additional noise and commotion involved with the Independence Day holiday.
In fact, animal shelters across the country are accustomed to receiving “July 4th” dogs — dogs who run off during fireworks celebrations and are rescued by animal control officers or good samaritans who take them to the safety of a local shelter.
Fortunately, preventing pet problems on Independence Day is possible by simply planning ahead and taking some basic precautions:
Leave them at home
First, resist the urge to take your pet to fireworks displays.
Don’t leave your pet in the car
With only hot air to breathe inside a car, your pet can suffer serious health effects — even death — in a few short minutes. Partially opened windows do not provide sufficient air, but they do provide an opportunity for your pet to be stolen.
Keep your pets indoors at home in a sheltered, quiet area. Some animals can become destructive when frightened, so be sure that you’ve removed any items that your pet could destroy or that would be harmful to your pet if chewed. We’ve even heard of dogs jumping through a glass window! Leave a television or radio playing at normal volume to keep them company while you’re attending 4th of July picnics, parades and other celebrations.
Keep it quiet
If you know that your pet is seriously distressed by loud noises like thunder, consult with your veterinarian before July 4th for ways to help alleviate the fear and anxiety he or she will experience during fireworks displays.
Never leave pets outside unattended, even in a fenced yard or on a chain. In their fear, pets who normally wouldn’t leave the yard may escape and become lost, or become entangled in their chain, risking injury or death.
Make sure your pets are wearing identification tags (or microchips) so that if they do become lost, they can be returned promptly. Animals found running at-large should be taken to the local animal shelter, where they will have the best chance of being reunited with their owners.