Fourth of July Safety for Pets

black and white dog looking at the camera

Pet Safety for
Fourth of July

Every year, animal shelters have their hands full dealing with lost dogs and cats who bolted on July 4th. Learn tricks to keep your pet safe during the holiday.

Keep Your Pets Safe

The Fourth of July is not a time of celebration for pets. If your pets are frightened by fireworks, you probably know the signs: they cower, tremble in fear and may run away. There are ways to make July 4th safer and less stressful for pets.

  • During neighborhood firework displays, keep all pets inside. Dogs and cats who are distressed should be placed inside a room with closed windows and a secure door. A screen door will not stop a frightened dog. Don’t take a dog to watch a large commercial firework display, as this increases the likelihood of your pet becoming lost in an unfamiliar area.
  • Make sure all pets, even indoor-only cats, wear a collar with an identification tag that includes your name and telephone number. An identification microchip is even better, as it is embedded in your pet and cannot be lost. These simple precautions will go a long way towards ensuring a rapid reunion with a lost pet.
  • Walk dogs in the early evening, well before nightfall, to prevent undue stress from noisy fireworks.
  • For dogs with extreme reactions to fireworks, talk with your veterinarian about the possibility of using canine sedatives.

Lost Pets: What to Do

If your pet becomes lost during the holiday:

  • Check with your local animal control agency. Many agencies have lost-and-found listings on their website.
  • Put up flyers with a photo and description of the missing pet.
  • Post your lost pet online on lost and found pet forums, including Craigslist, NextDoor, and your local Facebook lost and found pets group.
  • Search your neighborhood and your own property thoroughly. Lost cats, for example, are often found hiding under a bush in front of their owner’s home.
  • More resources for reuniting lost and found dogs with their owners can be found on the OHS website.

Found Pets: What to Do

If you find a stray animal, please keep them with you until your local animal shelter is open and ready to receive them. Below is contact information for shelters in the Portland metro and Southwest Washington areas:

Clackamas County Dog Services
13141 SE Highway 212, Clackamas, OR

Humane Society for Southwest Washington
1100 NE 192nd Ave., Vancouver, WA

Multnomah County Animal Services
1700 W. Historic Columbia River Highway, Troutdale, OR

Oregon Humane Society
1067 NE Columbia Blvd., Portland, OR
(Note: OHS is closed on July 4.)

Bonnie L. Hays Small Animal Shelter/Washington County Animal Services
1901 SE 24th Avenue, Hillsboro, OR

Clark County Animal Protection and Control
1300 Franklin Street, Vancouver, WA

Marion County Dog Services
3550 Aumsville Hwy SE, Salem, OR

Polk County Sherriff’s Office for Lost and Found Dogs
850 Main St, Dallas, OR

Need more help?

Visit our lost and found pets page for more information.