How to protect your pets during Fourth of July fireworks

Every year, dogs and cats flee with fear from the sound of fireworks.

According to, a lost pet finder that uses phone and fax broadcasts to help lost pets find their way back home, animal control officials across the nation report a 30-60% increase in lost pets each year between those dates.

Before the fireworks:

Make sure your pet’s collar has the most up-to-date contact information on your pet. If your dog has a microchip, make sure that it is registered.

Consider taking your dog on a long walk or having a vigorous play session just before the fireworks are to begin.

When the fireworks begin:

  • Keep your pet indoors, preferably in the quietest room in your house
  • Play soothing music or turn on the TV to provide distraction
  • Consider an anxiety vest for your pet or, if you don’t have one, try a tight-fitting T-shirt.
  • Some pets like being in a secure crate in a darkened room to help them stay calm.
  • Do not leave your pet outside.
  • Even if your pet hasn’t had a negative reaction in the past to fireworks, don’t assume they won’t react — some pets become more sensitive to loud noises as they age.
  • Comforting a dog during the event may reinforce behavior, consider distracting with play or brushing your pet.

After the fireworks are over:

According to, July 5 is one of the busiest days of the year for shelters. If your pet is lost, check in person at local shelters and check back frequently as it can take time before a pet is brought to a shelter.

Remember that fireworks contain several types of chemicals and heavy metals. Make sure you thoroughly clean up the area where fireworks were used before letting your pet outside.

To store information about your pet should you need to set up posters or communicate that your pet is lost, download the ASPCA’s mobile app. The app also helps pet owners in times of natural disasters.

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