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Independence Day and Pets: Tips from the Humane Rescue Alliance

Fourth of July fireworks are a celebration of our nation’s heritage as we salute the founding of our country with friends and family. But not every member of the family is in on the celebration. Our behavior and training team at the Humane Rescue Alliance offers the following suggestions for pet guardians to consider:

  • Pets often escape homes and yards in fear while trying to get away from the perceived danger of fireworks. The most important thing you can do for your pet is to make sure they are microchipped in case this happens so they can be returned home as soon as possible. Make sure your pet’s microchip information is current and that she or he is wearing a collar and ID tag with up-to-date contact information. If your animal does escape, file a lost report with your local Animal Care and Control as soon as possible.
  • The safest place for your pet is at home, not in a crowded, unfamiliar and noisy place. The combination of too many people and loud fireworks could make your pet panic and desperately seek shelter. Locking them in the car is also not an option; your pet may suffer heat stroke.
  • Keep pets indoors with window shades and curtains closed. Turn on a television, radio, white noise machine and/or play "calming" music for your pets. Hours of calming music can be found on several YouTube channels.
  • Create a safe place in the home for your cat or dog to hide. For example, open a closet door and put in a pet bed, creating an enclosed space with no windows.
  • Shut all doors and windows. Panicked animals can easily break through screens. Dogs can often open doors by jumping when scared, especially doors with lever-type handles. Secure doors with a bolt lock or chain latch.
  • If your animal is fearful of thunderstorms, it is likely he/she will be fearful of fireworks. Consult your veterinarian for medication that may help ease your pet's anxiety.

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