Keep Your Pets Safe on the Fourth of July

Although the Fourth of July is a time of festivities for some, for our pets, it can be a huge source of stress. Many frightened pets go missing during the Fourth of July holiday, making it one of the busiest times of year for animal shelters. It’s important to take extra precautions to keep your pets safe and calm on the Fourth. 

Never bring your pet to a fireworks display

If your dog usually enjoys going to the park, you might be tempted to bring them to the local fireworks display with you, but please leave them at home. Dogs have extremely sensitive ears and can quickly become terrified and disoriented around fireworks. 

Plan ahead

Since fireworks tend to happen after dark, walk your dog while it’s still light out. Even a dog who’s usually relaxed on walks can become extremely fearful around loud noises and potentially pull the leash out of your hand. 

Create a secure sanctuary space

Keeping your pet in one room of the house may make them feel more secure. If fireworks noises are worse towards the front of your house, choose a room towards the back. Provide them with their favorite toys and blankets to comfort them. Make sure doors and windows in their sanctuary room are securely latched so there’s no chance of them escaping. 

Provide distractions

Puzzle toys or other treat dispensers can distract your pet from the noise and give them something positive to focus on. Additionally, soft music (such as classical music) or the sound of a soothing television show may help drown out the noise of fireworks. 

Calming aids

There are many calming treats, diffusers, collars, and more available over-the-counter at our Shelter Shop. Your pet may also benefit from a Thundershirt, which is a vest that can reduce anxiety in dogs and cats. 

Ask your vet

If you’ve tried these tips in the past and your pet is still anxious, you may want to ask your vet for assistance. Only give your pet medication at the advice and direction of your veterinarian. 

ID tag and microchip

Make sure your pet is wearing a collar with a visible ID tag. Most pets are found very close to where they live, and your pet’s ID tag will help your neighbor reunite you with your pet more quickly. It’s also important that your pet is microchipped as a second form of identification. Double check that your pet’s ID tag and microchip are up-to-date with your current contact information.

If you find a lost pet, try reuniting them with their owner. If your pet goes missing or you find a lost animal, post on your local Nextdoor or neighborhood Facebook group. and register your pet on Petco Love Lost and create a Pawboost alert. We also recommend you check the lost pets listing on your local shelter’s website.

If you need help with a lost or found pet, please call 626.792.7151 ext. 997 or email For after-hours assistance, call 626.792.7151 ext. 970. 

Wishing you and your pets a happy – and safe – Fourth of July!