4th of July Pet Safety Tips

Wikimedia Commons photo.
Wikimedia Commons photo.

By Kim Kalunian, WPRO News

The Fourth of July is a time of fireworks, parades, cookouts and celebrations for us, but for our pets, it can be overwhelming and downright scary. State Veterinarian Dr. Scott Marshall offers some tips for how to keep animals safe and happy during Independence Day.


“Pets, especially dogs, have a different hearing range than we do,” Dr. Marshall said. “Some of these sounds may be very disturbing to them.”

  • Make a safe place: Dr. Marshall says covering a crate with a blanket provides animals a safe place to “hide” from the loud noises
  • Stay with them: Provide physical contact to your pet, and if you plan to go out, take them with you.
  • Try a ThunderShirt: Dr. Marshall says these snugly fitting “shirts” for pets don’t work for all animals, but they’re worth a try
  • Seek professional help: Some pets might not respond to other methods, so your veterinarian can prescribe something to help them


“The things you want to worry about are other people being there with their pets,” Dr. Marshall said.

  • Avoid fights: Keep your pets safe by avoiding any animals who may be other-animal aggressive.
  • Unvaccinated animals: Dr. Marshall says, “Your pet may be well vaccinated but another animal may not be.” Close contact can spread illness
  • Sneaky feeders: Watch for other people who think they’re giving your pet a treat but could be giving them a potentially harmful snack


“Try it yourself: you sit in a car for two minutes on a warm day with just the windows cracked open and see how hot it gets in there,” Dr. Marshall said.

  • Heat stress: Dogs deal with heat differently than humans do, and they can get heat stressed very quickly, even with the windows cracked
  • It’s illegal: A law passed by the General Assembly makes it illegal to leave your pet unattended in a car on a hot day