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7 tips to keep your pet safe on the 4th of July

According to BluePearl, the Fourth of July is the busiest day for pet-related emergencies, with emergency rooms more than doubling in activity. Heat, food, outdoor events, and fireworks create the perfect storm, elevating a pet’s risk of heat stroke or sickness due to the consumption of holiday indulgences designed for humans. Plus, people take their dogs to firework displays or cookouts thinking it will be fun, but the loud noises can terrify pets causing them to run off and lose their way.  We ask you that you celebrate the 4th of July safely by following the seven tips below. 

7 tips to keep your pets safe this Fourth of July

  1. Keep pets indoors at all times and provide a safe space where your pet can hide away. It might be tempting to have your pet join you in the festivities, but keeping pets indoors is a much safer option. Even obedient pets can get startled and react out of panic, which may result in your pet running off to escape the noise. It is best to keep your pet inside and provide a sanctuary space in a quiet area of your home. We also recommend keeping an eye on your pet at all times, especially if you know your pet is frightened by fireworks.
  2. Make sure your pet is wearing a current ID tag, and make sure your pet’s microchip information is up to date. The easier it is to identify your pet, the better.

  3. Have a current photo of your pet on hand. In case your pet does manage to get loose, having an up to date photo will allow you to get the word out as fast as possible.

  4. Refill anti-anxiety medications ahead of time. Clinics are not always able to refill your pet’s medication last minute, so plan ahead. If you don’t yet have prescribed medication but your pet has anxiety issues, call your veterinarian.
  5. Use other calming products such as a calming diffuser for cats or an anti-anxiety Shirt for dogs. These helpful tools can safely reduce anxiety and are easy to find at most pet stores, including the Virginia Beach SPCA’s main shelter and Pet Supplies and Adoption Center. By purchasing pet products at one of our locations, proceeds go directly back to helping homeless animals in Hampton Roads. You can also try putting on some calming music to help push the sounds of fireworks to the background.
  6. Have treats or a new toy on hand to help distract your pet throughout the evening. Keeping treats on hand will distract your pet from the human food, and the toys will keep your pet’s mind engaged. You can also prepare for the night by providing lots of play and exercise throughout the day. This will help work off some extra energy and contribute to a more relaxed state of mind.
  7. Never light fireworks around your pets. Lighting fireworks around your pet is not only dangerous, but could cause your pet to panic and inflict unintentional self-injury. Be safe and responsible.

If your pet does end up running off, take action immediately. For resources and tips on what to do if your pet is lost, please click here