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July 4th firework safety for pets

Patricia Conte has a background in marketing communications and works as an independent writer. In 2010, she was given the opportunity to combine her love of writing and food when she started as a contributing writer for the Food channel...

Celebrate safely

The July 4th holiday can be a blast! As you plan for the festivities, don’t forget to take a few simple steps to help ensure the safety of your furry family members this season. Pet hazards can range from fireworks to food to high temps. Do your part to keep your pets safe while you celebrate. 
Patriotic dog

Celebrate safely

The July 4th holiday can be a blast! As you plan for the festivities, don't forget to take a few simple steps to help ensure the safety of your furry family members this season. Pet hazards can range from fireworks to food to high temps. Do your part to keep your pets safe while you celebrate.


It's time to celebrate but what becomes of your pets during the July 4th festivities? As you prepare to plan the perfect party atmosphere for your friends, be sure to include your furry friends in the fun, too. A few reminders can help keep your pets safe as you celebrate the holiday.

Fireworks frenzy

The noise and excitement that goes along with fireworks can be scary for your pets. Keep the following in mind to help your pets stay safe and feel secure:

  • Don't take your pets to fireworks events. Pets could have an unexpected reaction to fireworks, so be on the safe side and leave them at home.
  • When at home, don't leave your pets outside if fireworks can be heard in the distance.
  • If you're having a gathering and you're able to watch the fireworks from home, make sure your pet has a quiet place to stay in the house with low lighting. You may consider having a crate available for your dog, helping to create a secure feeling.
  • If your dog becomes scared, don't scold or say "good boy/girl," as this is confusing. Instead, try to distract him or her with an activity like playing ball or another game.
  • If you know your dog will react badly to fireworks noise, talk to your vet in advance about the possibility of prescribing tranquilizers to help.

Review these seven tips to keep pets safe >>

Dog bowlHydration situation

It's hot outside. July is typically one of the warmest summer months and, just like humans need to stay hydrated, so do pets. Keep your pet's water bowl filled with fresh, clean water to enjoy. If your pets are outside, keep their water bowls in a shady spot and refill often.

Tread lightly

Asphalt streets, cement sidewalks and many other outdoor walkway surfaces can get hot, especially for an animal's paw pads. If you'd like your pet to join in your outdoor celebrations, try to make sure there is a nice, shady spot on the grass or another surface area that doesn't get too hot. Also remember to walk your dog early in the morning or once the sun goes down. Consider investing in booties to cover your pet's paws.

Host a poolside party for pets and people >>

Food fight

As a member of your family, your pets are likely invited to your backyard barbecues, too. Keep human food and drinks out of reach of your pets. Be sure your guests aren't feeding food (or drinks like alcohol) to them. Some people think human food makes good snacks for pets, but a change in diet could cause tummy troubles for your furry friends. Certain foods can be poisonous to pets. Foods you should never feed pets:

  • Avocados
  • Onions and garlic
  • Grapes or raisins
  • Dairy products
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Candy or gum
  • Chocolate
  • Raw eggs
  • Peaches or plums
  • Salt
  • Yeast dough

Try these homemade treat recipes for your pooch >>

Parking violation

Did you forget something for your big barbecue and need to stop at the store? Even if it's "just for a few minutes," never leave your pets alone in a car on hot days. Leaving the windows down and parking in the shade isn't good enough. Temperatures rise quickly on the inside of a vehicle. Since dogs sweat differently than humans, they're not able to cool themselves down enough while stuck in a hot car. In some states it's illegal to leave a pet in a car during extreme weather. Find out which states make it illegal and the provisions.

Don't forget about your pets during the holidays. Keep them safe and secure so everyone can enjoy the fun.

More pet tips

How to handle pet health emergencies
Top pet health resources
Tips for hiking with pets

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