July 4th – Tips for Pet Owners


Life, Liberty and the Pawsuit of Pet Safety!

Tips to protect pets this Fourth of July

Fourth of July and the holiday weekend are right around the corner, bringing backyard barbecues, fantastic fireworks and plenty of opportunities to get outside and soak up the sun. However, for pets, the heat, noise and human treats are not ingredients for a fun party. Our pets rely on us to keep them safe during our celebrations.

The Humane Society of Missouri presents to you the following Declaration of Pet Safety with helpful tips pet parents should keep in mind this Fourth of July:
Pets should be kept at home, if possible, with a quiet, cool place to retreat where heat and sounds are less intense.

  • Dogs and cats are more sensitive to loud noises, so fireworks can cause serious stress. Keeping them inside, even if they are usually “outdoor” pets, will help to make them more comfortable as well as protect them from stray fireworks.
  • A basement or interior room with access to clean, cool water is a great place for pets to relax. Close the windows and turn on a radio or television to mask the sounds, and have their favorite toys and bed to comfort them.
    • A fearful animal should never be confined on a chain or in a small crate, as this could increase their panic.
    • If your pet is extremely anxious with loud noises, visit your veterinarian immediately this week to discuss anti-anxiety options.

Pets should never attend celebrations with fireworks, but if you can’t avoid taking them, keep in mind the following:

  • Never leave pets in a parked car, even at night or with the windows cracked. At just 70 degrees, internal car temperatures can skyrocket to more than 100 degrees in minutes.
  • Make sure dogs wear a collar, ID tag and have an up-to-date microchip to help ensure a safe return if lost. If pets do get lost, visit STLlostpets.org to file a report and check area shelters.
  • Keep dogs on a short, secure leash at all times and watch for signs of stress. Never use a retractable leash in crowded areas, and have a back-up plan should your dog become overwhelmed by the activities.


Human treats should be left to the humans at picnics and parties, while pets should only have access to what’s best for them.

  • Avoid giving pets any type of food outside their normal diet, like barbecue leftovers or party snacks, and make sure they do not get into trash bags or open beverage containers lying around. These goodies can seriously upset a pet’s digestive track.
  • Keep fireworks, glow sticks, lighter fluid, sunscreen, insect repellent, citronella candles and other potentially dangerous items away from a pet’s curiosity.

And as always, if you’re traveling out of town or just out and about around town, remember the Humane Society of Missouri’s life-saving motto:

70 Degrees & Over, Don’t Take Rover!

To report an animal in heat-related jeopardy, call the Humane Society of Missouri Animal Cruelty Hotline at (314) 647-4400.

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