San Francisco SPCA Offers Fourth of July Safety Tips to Keep Pets Safe

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More pets go missing on fourth of July than any other day in the year

June 28, 2021 — The San Francisco SPCA is offering tips to help ensure that the Fourth of July holiday is safe for your pets. While the Fourth of July is a happy and celebratory time for humans, unfortunately it is a holiday that many pets would rather skip — especially when the fireworks begin.

“Loud noises can be traumatic and scary for pets,” explained Dr. Jennifer Scarlett, SF SPCA President. “It’s best to avoid fireworks completely at your house. Not only can the burning embers get stuck in your pet’s paws, many home fireworks contain toxic substances that are dangerous for animals.”

Every July Fourth, more pets are reported missing than any other day of the year. Always keep your animal inside when fireworks are happening your area, but know that animals can slip out of an open door or window fast when they’re scared. Make sure your pets are microchipped and wearing their tags in case they get frightened and run. It’s also important that the contact information on file with your pet’s microchip company is up-to-date, otherwise shelters will have no way to get in touch. If you don’t know what company you used, there are universal databases for microchip registration such as Petlink.

If you can’t avoid the noise of fireworks and your pet is scared, try these suggestions:

  • Put your animal into a comfortable, indoor “safe” room and play soothing music to calm them, such as the music therapy soundtrack “Through a Dog’s Ear”
  • Use food-dispensing toys, like a Kong toy, to distract from all the commotion
  • Interact and play with your pet during the fireworks to keep them from focusing on the sounds

“If you’ve tried to calm your pet and fireworks are still causing anxiety — such as panting, hiding, whining, or shaking — talk to your veterinarian,” said Dr. Scarlett. “There are prescription and over the counter medications that might be able to help.”

The SF SPCA’s Behavior Specialty Clinic can help address cases of severe anxiety.

The SF SPCA has two special Fourth of July events:

  • Shelter Live Cams: Tune in to watch adorable, adoptable puppies and kittens doing what they do best: act like adorable puppies and kittens! June 28 to July 4, 10am to 5pm. Plus, download the free SF SPCA Fireworks Pet Safety Guide.


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