Popularity of Fireworks for Independence Day Celebrations Necessitates Precautions for Animals

Friday, June 28, 2024

Make a Gift
Support the College

happy golden retriever dog holding American flag in mouth

Fireworks used as part of 4th of July celebrations are fun and festive for people.  However, for pets and urban farm animals, they can be frightening and even cause pets to react in a way that can cause injury or worse.  Dr. Lorraine Corriveau, primary care clinician with the Purdue University Veterinary Hospital’s Small Animal Primary Care service shares the following tips for lowering the noise stress of pets and horses around the time of the Independence Day holiday: 

  • Keep small pets sheltered indoors. Turn on the radio or TV for distraction.
  • Never leave pets alone outdoors, even if tethered or in a fenced yard. Dogs especially may escape and become lost or injure themselves by chewing or choking on their leashes.
  • Do not take your pet to a fireworks show or leave it in your car unattended. “If you must be outside with your pet, be sure to keep it on a leash or in a carrier,” Dr. Corriveau said. “Some dogs love to chase those spinning/swirling objects on the ground.”
  • Protect animals from children who may not realize that waving sparklers or setting off “safe” firecrackers could upset a family pet.
  • Keep your pet’s I.D. tags current, so you can be reunited easily in the event the pet runs away.
  • Noise phobia can get worse as a pet ages.  “Talk to your veterinarian about a mild sedative or tranquilizer to calm the fears of an extremely stressed dog or cat,” Dr. Corriveau advised. “Cotton placed loosely in ears can help to muffle sound.”
  • Pick up after the night of festivities is over!
  • Horses may need to be sedated. Make sure all sharp objects are removed from their enclosures. If you have stalls, keep them in their stalls rather than outside.

Follow these tips to help ensure a happy and safe 4th of July for you and your animal companions!


Writer(s): Purdue Veterinary Medicine News | pvmnews@purdue.edu

Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, 625 Harrison Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, 765-494-7607

© 2024 Purdue University All Rights Reserved | EA/EO University | DOE Degree Scorecards | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Purdue Veterinary Medicine Communications

If you have trouble accessing this page because of a disability, please contact us at vetwebteam@purdue.edu.