Pet Safety for July Fourth

In just a few days, we’ll be celebrating our nation’s independence. It’s entirely possible that you’ll be including your animal companion in the festivities! July Fourth presents a few safety hazards for pets—learn more below from a vet in Mt. Airy, MD.


What would the Fourth of July be without fireworks? While you and your family may look forward to the display, keep this in mind: your pet, most likely, doesn’t take kindly to the loud boom and bright flashes! In fact, more pets run away on the night of July Fourth than on any other day of the year. It’s always best to keep your pet safely secured at home, rather than taking them to the local fireworks display. If you’re lighting off firecrackers, sparklers, or other small pyrotechnics at home, keep pets indoors so that they aren’t frightened.

Hot Weather

The dog days of summer are upon us. If you’re including your animal friend in your July Fourth barbeque or picnic, remember to help them brave the heat and humidity so that they stay healthy. Allow pets back indoors frequently, where it’s air-conditioned and cool. Also make sure they have a large dish of cool, fresh water to drink from at all times to prevent dehydration. Don’t let pets linger on hot asphalt surfaces like driveways or parking lots; painful burns and blisters could appear on the sensitive paw pads!

Outdoor pests are also common during hot weather. Make sure your pet is wearing proper preventatives to ward off fleas, ticks, and worms.

Toxic Foods

Plenty of common picnic and party foods aren’t good for pets. A few examples include chocolate, candy, onions, garlic, grapes and raisins, avocado, salty foods like pretzels or potato chips, caffeinated foods and beverages, and fatty foods. Don’t give your pet bones—whether they’re cooked or raw—as a chew toy; these could splinter apart when chewed, creating shards that could cut a pet’s mouth or stomach lining.


Will your July Fourth celebrations include alcoholic beverages? Keep in mind that pets respond to alcohol just like we do, but with one difference: only small amounts can result in serious cases of poisoning! Keep a close eye on all drinks to make sure that your animal companion doesn’t have a chance to sneak a sip—the results could be very dangerous!

For more safety tips, contact your Mt. Airy, MD veterinarian.

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