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Keeping Your Pets Safe on the 4th of July

Jun 23, 2022|

Many of us look forward to the Fourth of July each year with great excitement. After all, what’s not to love about picnics, fireworks, and summer fun?

But what’s fun for us isn’t always fun or safe for our pets, and the 4th of July is no exception. In fact, it can be downright dangerous to them. More pets are lost on the 4th of July than any other time of the year.

Luckily, you can take steps to ensure your Fourth of July holiday is safe for your four-legged family members by knowing the potential risks and what you can do to mitigate them.

Dog sitting on porch in front of red, white, and blue balloons.

4th of July dangers to pets

There are a few different risks the 4th of July holiday poses to cats and dogs, including:

  • Loud noises. Animals hate loud, sudden noises, like the booms from fireworks displays. This is why the Fourth of July holiday can be so upsetting to pets. The repeated noise causes fear and stress, so animals try and escape from the noise to find a safe, quiet place. This is why so many pets go missing during the holiday.
  • Fireworks. It’s not just the boom that makes fireworks a risk to pets; curious pets who don’t know any better can get too close to sparklers or other fireworks, risking injury and burns.
  • Exposure to harmful materials. Citronella, insect repellant, and other common outdoor aerosols can be hazardous to your pet’s health.
  • Ingestion of dangerous foods and beverages. Picnics are a treasure trove of forbidden foods for dogs and cats, and are often left out in the open. Raisins, chocolate, and onions are some common toxic foods that can lead to death, and alcoholic beverages can even result in respiratory failure in pets, according to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.
  • Sunscreen. Human sunscreen isn‘t to be used on animals and can actually be very dangerous to pet health resulting in drooling, vomiting, and other symptoms.

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Pet safety tips at home

If you plan on celebrating Independence Day from the comfort of your home, there are a number of things you can do to keep your pet safe and secure.

Keep them inside

A lost pet can be a pet owner’s worst nightmare. The number one way to keep your pet from getting frightened and running away during your 4th of July activities is to keep them inside. Sure, it’s fun to have your pets outside with you while you watch the show or have fun activities outside, but often the noise of fireworks or the crowds of people will stress your pets out.

Not only that, but curious pets can get into potentially dangerous situations, including being burned by BBQ grills or getting into things that could be harmful.

Create a safe place for them

Inside, make sure your pet has a place to go where they can feel safe if fireworks get loud and they get stressed. This can be a crate or a closed-off room or area with some of their favorite toys for comfort. A white noise machine or fan can also help drown out any noise from fireworks.

Remember to never leave your pet in a car. It may seem like a safe space, but hundreds of pets die each year in hot cars after their owners mistakenly assume they’ll be fine, even with the windows down. (Plus, in 31 states, it’s actually illegal to leave your pet alone in a car!)

Make sure they’re microchipped

A microchip is a tiny transponder, about the size of a grain of rice, that carries a unique ID number assigned to your pet. Unlike identification tags, microchips are not worn on the collar. Instead, they’re injected into the dog’s skin. When your pet is microchipped, you register the information on the chip and your contact information with a national pet recovery database. If your dog or cat ever goes missing, a shelter or vet’s office can scan the chip and contact you, the pet parents.

Microchipping helps keep both cats and dogs safe. Dogs that are microchipped are more than twice as likely to be returned to their owners than dogs that aren’t. (For cats, that number is even greater—they’re 4 times more likely to be returned to their owners!)

If your pet doesn’t have a microchip, or you aren’t sure if they do, take them to your vet’s office. They can do a scan to see if your pet has one. If not, they can easily microchip your pet in a simple appointment.

In the very least, make sure your pet is wearing ID tags on their collar or harness, so they can be returned to you if found.

Dog and cat looking out a living room window.

Pet safety tips away from home

If you’re planning to travel and celebrate the Fourth of July away from home, these pet safety tips will keep your pet healthy and safe:

Don’t bring them with you

Most of us consider our pets members of the family, so it’s only natural that you’d want to bring them along to your family activities, including 4th of July picnics and fireworks displays.

Before you do this, remember that while these activities may be fun for you and your family, they’re stressful and frightening for pets. Even worse, if your dog or cat is traveling with you and bolts when fireworks go off, you’ll have a much more difficult time trying to find them in a city or state you’re unfamiliar with.

The best thing you can do is leave them at home if you’re going to be away for the day, or hire a pet sitter or board them in a kennel if you’re going out of town. You may not like the idea of leaving your pet while you go have fun, but it’s a much safer option than risking losing a pet.

Check in on them with a security camera

You can still stay connected to your pet while you travel with an indoor security camera. This type of camera helps you keep an eye on your pets at all times. These are often Wi-Fi enabled cameras you can place anywhere in your home, allowing you to view footage from your smartphone while you’re away. Some cameras, like the Vivint Indoor Camera, even have speakers so you can speak to your pet right from your phone.

Make your pet’s safety a priority

Keeping your pet safe and healthy this 4th of July should be a top priority for any pet owner. While Independence Day can be hazardous to your pets, these tips will help keep them feeling safe and secure, letting you celebrate without having to worry about your pets. To learn more about using an indoor security camera to keep an eye on your pets while you are away, or to learn more about Vivint security, call us today at 855.822.1220 for a free consultation.

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