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Fourth of July celebrations are wonderful opportunities for family and friends to gather and celebrate our nation’s independence.  These celebrations include camping, picnics, barbecues and of course, fireworks.  Many of our pets are as intrepid and adventurous as we are and some of them not so much.  Listed below are safety tips that can help make the Fourth safe and reduce your pets stress level.

  • Keep harmful items away from pets. Lighter fluid, matches, tiki torches, citronella candles and other flammable items can burn and irritate the hair or skin.
  • Don’t leave alcoholic beverages where pets can reach them. They are toxic and may cause weakness, depression, or death.
  • Keep pets on their normal diets. Even the choicest tidbit can be problematic to a sensitive and delicate digestive system.  Avoid chocolate, grapes, raisins, bread dough, barbecued meats and bones.
  • Use only veterinarian recommended sunscreen and insect repellants on your pet.
  • Keep pool chemicals in their original containers and safely stored to avoid spillage and contact with eyes and skin.
  • Don’t let your pet drink pool water. It is low in sodium and could cause weakness, seizures or coma.  If you’re traveling beyond your backyard, sea water exposes pets to more sodium than they would normally encounter.  Swallowing large amounts of salty water can cause vomiting, tremors, or seizures.
  • Don’t leave jewelry or other pieces of paraphernalia on your pet unsupervised as they could swallow or choke on them.


  • Don’t leave pets outside during fireworks as they could become spooked and run away or hop a fence.
  • Don’t leave your pet home alone if he/she gets upset by loud noises. Have someone stay with the pet during firework activities.
  • Identify a safe area in your home for your pet during the fireworks. Make sure the room is a comfortable temperature, close the windows, lower the lighting if necessary, and use calming music to mask the noise from the fireworks.
  • If you think or know your pet requires a calming aid or sedative, check with your pet’s veterinarian before giving such aids and follow directions carefully.
  • Don’t leave pets outside or jog with your dog during the hottest part of the day, usually between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. If the concrete, asphalt or pavement is too hot for your hand to touch or to stand on in your bare feet, it’s too hot for your pet to walk, jog or play outside.
  • Make sure your pet is wearing a collar with visible identification that has his/her name and your telephone number. Get your pet microchipped, and if your pet is already microchipped, call the microchip company to ensure that your information is current. Microchips are often given to pets, but the information is out of date meaning shelters have no way of contacting the owner if they pet is lost.
  • If your pet gets lost or you find a lost animal, report it to the nearest animal control agency as soon as possible and visit the shelters regularly.

That’s it!  The considerations are simple.  With a little planning, one of our favorite, holidays will be the great fun we anticipate.