Independence Day Safety Tips for Pets

July 01, 2024

Many of us look forward to the Fourth of July for the food, fireworks, and fun, but while these activities can be fun for people, they can be less so for our pets. Many animals are startled and frightened by fireworks, and summer heat can be deadly for pets. When planning your Independence Day celebration, please take precautions to keep pets safe and comfortable.

Before the Festivities

  • Pets should always have some form of identification on them, such as ID tags. We also highly recommend microchipping your pets in case they leave your home or yard. If you microchip, you must register the information and ensure it is current.
  • Having a current photo of your pet is also a good idea.
  • If you know that your pet gets anxious due to loud noises such as fireworks, consult with your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist for the best ways to help your pet. Some pets may need medication to manage their anxiety.
  • Create a safe and secure environment for your pet: make sure your yard is secure and pets cannot get out, and create a safe space in an interior room for your pet.
  • Ask your veterinarian if they offer emergency services outside of regular business hours. If your veterinarian does not, ask for a recommendation from your veterinarian or make a note of a local veterinary hospital that does offer services outside of regular business hours.

During the Festivities

  • If you're attending an Independence Day event away from your home, leave your pets at home. Strange places, crowds, and fireworks can be frightening for pets.
  • If you know your pet gets anxious because of fireworks, try putting them in a crate or a safe, interior room so that outside sounds are more muffled.
  • If you're hosting guests in your home, make sure your pets cannot escape as people come in and out. 
  • If you are setting off fireworks, keep pets inside. Even if the noise doesn't bother them, they may try to catch the fireworks or could run close enough to them to get hurt.
  • Even sparklers, charcoal, and barbecue grills and tools can be dangerous to curious pets.
  • Do not feed your pets table scraps or "people food."
  • Pets can get heatstroke so keep them cool and give them plenty of water.

After the Festivities

  • Remove any firework debris and other trash from your yard before letting your pets out. Even if you didn't set off fireworks, trash can find its way into your yard.
  • Check your yard and home for food and trash. 

Emergency Care

If your pet requires emergency medical care after-hours and your veterinarian does not offer such services, the LSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital on Skip Bertman Drive is available 24/7, 365 days a year. For pets and small exotics, call 225-578-9600, and for horses and farm animals, call 225-578-9500. While the LSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital typically remains open during hurricanes, please call first to be sure that the hospital is accessible, and we are able accept patients following a disaster. 

About LSU Vet Med: Bettering lives through education, public service, and discovery

The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine is one of only 33 veterinary schools in the U.S. and the only one in Louisiana. LSU Vet Med is dedicated to improving and protecting the lives of animals and people through superior education, transformational research, and compassionate care. We teach. We heal. We discover. We protect.