Keeping Pets Safe During Fourth of July Holidays Here on the Suncoast

Many of us have fur babies that are our best friends and important parts of our lives. While we feed, provide stimulation, and ensure our family members are always safe. Most might not realize that with the coming Fourth of July holiday, extra diligence is needed to ensure that our pets remain safe. Fireworks, family outings, and many things come to mind when discussing this coming holiday, but the safety of pets might not make the list.

Fireworks Bigger Hazards Then You Realize

According to the ASPCA, our fur babies go missing or are injured over the Fourth of July weekend at higher rates than any other time of the year. Fireworks animals of all breeds, both domesticated and even those in the wild. Animals’ reactions to the loud noises, bright lights, and such can cause them to break from us, their loyal human companions, to find comfort and shelter somewhere away from the noise and lights. They can become disoriented, run into roadways, homes, and buildings they don’t belong to and cause injury to themselves or other unsuspecting humans they encounter. After this weekend, many centers are overrun by injured and turned-in animals seeking their lost companions.

You know your fur babies best, so plan to secure them in places that can ensure their safety during loud events. Leash them, keep them close and remember that they will react, run and even lash out when under stress in many cases. While sharing these events and being outdoors with family and friends this holiday, put a little planning into ensuring the safety of your pets during firework displays. Remember that fireworks aren’t the only hazard to consider this holiday weekend.

Heat Stroke Potential for Pets

Another danger we must remain diligent about our pets during these hot summer months is the temperatures themselves. High temperatures make your pets susceptible to heat stroke, quickly becoming deadly. Ensure they have shade and proper hydration, and never leave them in a hot, parked car for any amount of time. Temperatures may seem balmy and cool to us, and in a locked vehicle quickly turn upwards to dangerous degrees.

Also, pavement can be dangerous for their paws when it bakes to blistering temperatures in the Suncoast sun. If you can’t hold your hand to a surface for five seconds, our fur buddies should not be walking on it either. Let’s ensure that while we enjoy these summer months, everyone in the family is protected against sunstroke or other heat-related illness and injury – including our fur babies.

Keep Food and Beverage at a Distance

The cocktails and beers can be refreshing and cooling for us all during this holiday but be a poison to our pets. A thirsty, dehydrated, and hot pet can look to quench their thirst in any way possible, and when finding alcohol take the opportunity to quench their thirst. Unfortunately, alcohol intoxication can cause them to become weak, ill, have breathing issues and even induce death at some toxic levels. So keep the cold ones in coolers and out of reach of our pets.


Grills and lighter fluid are hazards you must watch this fourth, around fur babies. If an animal consumes lighter fluid or charcoal, the heat from the grill might not be the only danger they find themselves in. These can harden blood cells and cause respiratory issues and even kidney disease. Lighter fluid is an irritant that even spilled on a pet can cause skin issues and a host of other ailments you don’t want to contemplate during your festivities.

Our pets need constant supervision and a good plan for their health and well-being this holiday season. Check what foods might be in their range and ensure they don’t gain access. Certain foods that usually accompany celebrations, like chocolate, onions, and avocados, can be toxic to your four-legged friend. Please resist the urge to offer them BBQ scraps, even for this occasion.

Stay Vigilant for Our Pets

While enjoying your holiday this Fourth of July, remember your fur babies. Keep foods out of the ways of little paws and mouths that could be sickened by alcohol and many human food favorites. Additionally, please do not leave your animals in hot cars for fear of heat stroke, and keep a firm eye on them at all times. Finally, when dealing with fireworks, ensure that your pet is secure, unscared by the noises, and doesn’t run away seeking comfort and shelter. During this holiday, the missing, ill, heat stroke, and other issues are higher in statistics.

Photos courtesy of Deposit Photos

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