Independence Day is decked with red, white and blue banners, and filled with BBQs, games in the sunshine, friends and families gathering under the stars for the traditional firework show. It sounds like the perfect American day –for humans, that is. Pets are subjected to all kinds of stresses on this holiday,  from the unsettling explosions in the sky, to the dozens of strangers running around,  learn how to avoid the challenges and hazards your dog or cat will face this weekend.

Hazards For Pets on Independence Day

Firework explosions: Stress and anxiety form the thundering light show often send animals into a fearful tizzy of barking, shaking, hiding or even vomiting from the panic.  The irregular canon-like booming is enough to terrify and confuse any quiet-loving creature.

Crowds and strangers: Holiday parties, neighborhood get-togethers generally involve lots of people socializing in what may typically be your pet’s safe place. When their peaceful home is filled with strangers (and maybe even other pets) it can be a lot for dogs and cats to handle.

Escaping and getting lost: With many people coming in and out of houses, doors and windows are easily left open, creating a potential escape for your pet.  Many lost animals are reported after holiday weekends.

Intoxication: This might sound extreme, but remember that dogs and cats are always prowling around in search of goodies to eat. If someone’s cup of rum punch, or sangria is left unattended on a low bench or table, they might be inclined to lap all that sugary alcohol right up. Keep a close eye on your pet in case negligent guests may have endangered them.

Keeping Your Pet Safe & Calm

  • Find your cat or dog a safe place, whether it is the laundry room, your bedroom, or the garage where they can hide away from all the ruckus.
  • Put on a calming collar before the block party, or 30 minutes before the fireworks begin so that they will be better prepared to handle the noise.
  • Keep the pet in a crate to help protect them from destructive behaviors such as digging, chewing, scratching or biting, which some cats and dogs will do when they feel nervous or threatened.
  • Distract your cat or dog from the loud noise of the fireworks by soothing them with music, or adding white noise to lessen the effects. A loud fan might help drown out the clatter.
  • Make sure you put an ID collar on your cat or dog before the day’s events begin, in case they are accidentally let out, or they escape from their home. If your cat is missing, look in nearby trees, or under your car as they tend to stay nearby.  Dogs have a tendency to wander further, so checking in the closest animal shelter and surrounding neighborhood would be the best bet.

No matter what happens this 4th of July weekend, keep your pet’s freedoms and happiness in mind as you celebrate your own!