Veterinarian - San Diego
1540 Morena Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92110



By Heather Beeson of Morena Pet Hospital
June 29, 2012
Category: Pet Safety
Tags: Untagged


Tips on Keeping Pets Safe this 4th of July

While the Fourth of July may be a day of celebration and fun for people, it can be a terrifying experience for our furry loved ones.  We realize pets are increasingly being considered parts of the family, so it is understandable that you may wish to include them in the holiday festivities.  But fireworks and crowds can be scary and stressful for your pet!  After all, they do not view such noise, flashes, and smoke as a celebration.  Sadly, shelters across America claim that the day after the Fourth of July is one of the busiest times, often becoming inundated with pets that ran away, panicked from the noise of fireworks.

So before you make your barbeque and beach plans, please also take a moment to consider your pets this Independence Day.  Here are some pet safety precautions to keep your pet happy and healthy this 4th of July:

  • It is best to keep your pet INDOORS!  Close all windows and doors.  If you are having guests over, make sure they know to keep your pets inside.  Make up a safe and comfortable place for your pet to escape the noise.  The San Diego Humane Society suggests leaving a TV on or playing music to help drown out the noise.
  • Ensure all of your pets are micro-chipped (and registered!) and are wearing proper identification with updated contact information.  Consider purchasing and setting up the TAGG Pet Tracker, a new product on the market that uses GPS technology to locate your pets.
  • Keep your pet on his/her normal diet.  Although those begging eyes are hard to resist, it is important to stick with your pet’s normal diet.  Scraps from the grill can lead to upset stomachs and potential intestinal obstructions or even worse can potentially be toxic for your pet (onions, avocado, chocolate, grapes, and raisins are all toxic to pets)!
  • Do not leave alcoholic beverages unattended where pets can reach them.  This is no laughing matter.  Alcohol is potentially hazardous to pets, so make sure your pet does not accidentally consume any wine, beer, or mixed drinks.
  • Keep your pet far from fireworks, citronella candles, neon glow jewelry, matches, and lighter fluid.  All can produce gastrointestinal irritation and other health issues if consumed.  Curious pets can experience severe burns or trauma if exposed to lit fireworks.
  • Be sure to only use pet-specific insect repellent and sunscreen.  It is imperative to only use products that are intended for those with four legs, such as Epi-Pet sunscreen for dogs.  Avoid human products—ingestion can result in excessive drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, and lethargy.

Taking these simple precautions will go a long way to ensure your holiday is a joyful occasion to remember.

As always, if you suspect your pet has ingested something poisonous from the picnic table, please contact a veterinarian or the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) at (888) 426-4435.

For additional pet safety tips please visit the following San Diego Humane Society and ASPCA links: