Test your Fourth of July pet-safety knowledge

Fourth of July weekend is almost here! But while the fun, sun and fireworks may be great for you, the loud noises, people coming and going and confusion may spell trouble for your pet. In fact, more pets get lost on Independence Day each year than any other day, according to HomeAgain‘s marketing director Linda Block.

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Willow is an American Staffordshire Terrier mix at Pacific Coast Dog Rescue in Burbank, CA.

Before you head off for the weekend, test your pet-safety knowledge with this Independence Day quiz provided by HomeAgain and check out our bonus tips below. Then pledge to keep your pet safe on the Fourth of July on HomeAgain’s Facebook page:

1) If your pet is sensitive to loud noises like fireworks, you should turn on the TV or music when leaving the house.

Answer: True. By raising the indoor ambient sound level, you will cancel out some of the booming noise from outside and comfort your pet with the feeling she is not alone.

2) It is smart to leave your pet in the car when going to see fireworks.

Answer: False. Do not leave your pet in the car. With only hot air to breathe, your pet can suffer serious health effects, even death, in a few short minutes. Leaving the window open exposes your pet to being stolen. [Learn more about the dangers of leaving your pet in a parked car.]

3) Keeping your pet at home, indoors, in a sheltered, quiet area during fireworks makes sense.

Answer: True. Some pets can become destructive when frightened. Be sure to remove any items that your pet could destroy, or that would be harmful if chewed or ingested.

4) If you know that your pet is seriously distressed by loud noises like thunder, consult with your veterinarian before July 4.

Answer: True. Your veterinarian will offer ways to help alleviate the fear and anxiety your pet will experience during fireworks displays. As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

5) It’s okay to leave your pet outside, unattended in a fenced yard or on a chain, if he or she is comfortable there.


Answer: False.
If frightened, pets that normally wouldn’t leave the yard may escape and become lost, or become entangled in their chain, risking injury or death.

Fourth of July can be fun for you and safe for your pet, with the right precautions. Here are a few bonus tips for keeping your pet safe and sound this weekend (you can also watch our video for tips about pets and fireworks):

  • Confine nervous pets to a quiet, indoor location away from windows. For pets particularly afraid of loud noises, consider enclosing them in a windowless room that’s central in your house to reduce the sound of the fireworks. You can turn on the radio, air conditioner or television to add more of a sound buffer.
  • Get your dog used to loud noises ahead of time. A little practice can go a long way toward helping your pet stay calm when he hears big booming noises. Check out these tips for conditioning your dog to loud sounds.
  • Try a calming massage or pressure therapy. For pets that pace, jump or can’t seem to settle, applying pressure to key areas may help. Try giving a massage to your cat or using a Thundershirt pressure vest on your anxious pup.

Tell us: How does your pet react to the sound of fireworks?


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Article: Pet Tips for Independence Day

Video: Pets and Fireworks

Article: Never Leave Your Pet in a Parked Car

Article: Conditioning a Dog to Loud Noises

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