Fourth of July Pet Safety – Resources
Pets & July 4
Notice: OHS is closed on July 4
Tips to Keep Pets Safe from Fireworks
Fireworks can drive pets, especially dogs, into a state of panic. Every year, animal shelters have their hands full dealing with pets who bolted from their homes because they were terrified of fireworks. Sadly, many pets are never reunited with their owners. OHS suggests that pet owners take the following steps to keep their pets safe:
- Keep pets indoors: This applies to the Fourth of July and for a few days before and after the holiday if your pet is extremely fearful of fireworks. 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 bring your dog to a large commercial firework display. This increases the chances of your pet becoming lost in an unfamiliar area.
ID tags are essential: Ensure that all your pets, even those who live indoors-only, are wearing a collar with ID tags that include your current contact information. An identification microchip is even better, as it is embedded in your pet and cannot be lost.
- Avoid evening dog walks: Walk dogs in the afternoon, well before nightfall, to prevent undue stress from noisy fireworks.
- Help for lost or found pets: If you find a stray pet, please keep them with you until your local animal shelter is open and ready to receive it. More info about what to do when you find a pet here »
In extreme cases, check with your veterinarian about pet-appropriate sedatives or other remedies for your pet. Some dogs and cats may be helped by products such as Thundershirts, available online or at some pet supply stores. Rescue Remedy, and pheromone sprays (Feliway, Adaptil), available at the OHS retail store, may also help calm some pets.
Resources from the OHS Training & Behavior Department: How to help if your pet is frightened of loud noises »
If Your Pet Becomes Lost
- Immediately check with your local animal control agency first. Find a local agencies here. (By law, stray and found pets must go to county shelters first; they cannot be accepted by private shelters like OHS).
- Put up flyers around the area with a photo and detailed description of the missing pet.
- Craigslist offers free lost and found pet postings. Your neighborhood NextDoor website could also be helpful. County shelters typically offer online lost/found listings as well as physical lost/found references at their shelter locations.
OHS and Portland Fire & Rescue have teamed up to encourage everyone to be safe with fireworks during the Fourth of July. Find resources about firework safety, legal vs. illegal fireworks in Oregon and more online here.