As fun as 4th of July can be for us, it can also bring about a lot of dangers for your pet. While partaking in all of the festivities associated with this fun-filled holiday, it is important to always keep in mind your pet’s safety. 

Here are a few tips to help keep your pet safe this July 4th. 

Keep your pet indoors.
With the crowds, fireworks, sparklers, and all the other festivities associated with this holiday, it is easy for your pet to become overwhelmed. To keep your pet comfortable and at ease, it is best to leave her inside when all of this is going on. Exercise her early in the morning before the festivities start and take her out for potty breaks periodically throughout the day. To avoid your pet getting bored, provide her with enriching activities such as a treat-dispensing toy. For more information on canine enrichment, please see out Canine Enrichment article. 

Alcoholic drinks are poisonous to pets.
Do not leave your drink unattended. Alcohol poses a serious threat to your pet's health. If your pet does happen to ingest any alcohol, take her to the vet immediately. 

Do not apply sunscreen or insect repellent to you pet unless it’s specifically intended for pet use.
Both sunscreen and deet can have severely poisonous effects on your pet. If ingested, sunscreen may cause drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, and lethargy. Deet, a common insecticide found in most insect repellents, can lead to severe neurological problems in your pet. 

If you plan on attending any firework shows, leave your pet at home. 
Attending a crowded firework show can become incredibly overwhelming and uncomfortable for your pet. To avoid putting your pet in a risky situation, it is best to leave her at home where it is quiet and familiar. Do not leave your pet in the car while attending a firework show. Leaving your pet in a hot car can lead to heat stroke or death.

Make sure your pet is properly identified.
If your pet suddenly becomes overwhelmed by all of the ruckus, she may break loose and run away. In this case, it is vital that your pet is microchipped and has an identification tag with your name and phone number attached to their collar or harness so that she can be returned to you if found. 

NEVER use fireworks around pets.
All explosives, including fireworks, pose a serious danger to pets. Exposing your pet to lit fireworks can result in serious trauma and/or burns. Unlit fireworks, too, pose a serious threat to pets as they contain toxic chemicals that are poisonous to pets. If you plan to set off fireworks, make sure to leave you pet inside when doing so. 

Clean up after yourself.
Make sure to clean up all pieces trash, food scraps, fireworks remnants, etc. so that your dog doesn’t ingest anything she is not supposed to. Eating anything but normal food and treats can result in your dog experiencing serious digestive upset. Make sure you maintain your dog’s normal diet on all holidays and avoid feeding her anything from the table.

If you would like information from an Anti-Cruelty Society Behavior Specialist regarding this behavior topic, please call 312-645-8253 or email

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