Fourth of July Fireworks – No Fun for Fido

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Fourth of July – fun for you. For Fido, not so much. Actually, the day itself might be OK. More time with family and maybe a dropped hot dog or two. But when day turns to night and the fireworks start, the loud booms, high-pitched whistles and flashing kaleidoscope of lights may scare Fido so much he runs off to escape it all.

“Dogs can panic at the sound of fireworks and other noisemakers on the Fourth of July,” said County Animal Services Director Dawn Danielson. “They can dig under, climb over, or break through gates, screens, fences, windows and doors to get away from the chaos, and the end result is they get lost or risk getting hurt by vehicles or other animals.”

So what can you do? Make sure your pooch is licensed and microchipped. County Animal Services is offering free microchips for dogs from 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday, June 30 at all three of its locations. The normal charge is $10 including national registration.

Animal Services also recommends that you register your dog with Finding Rover. The free facial recognition app matches dog’s faces with those that have been lost or found. One time, the app found a dog within five minutes!

Here are some additional tips on how to protect your pet this Fourth of July:

  • Avoid taking your pet to fireworks displays. Keep your pets indoors in a sheltered, quiet area.
  • Some dogs become destructive when frightened so remove dangerous objects your pet may chew. Leave a television or radio playing at normal volume to keep your pet company while you’re away.
  • Never leave pets outside unattended, even in a fenced yard. In their fear, pets that normally wouldn’t leave the yard may escape and get lost.
  • If you know your pet is seriously distressed by loud noises like thunder, consult your veterinarian to see if anxiety-relieving medication is appropriate.
  • Do not leave your pet in the car. With only hot air to breathe inside a car, your pet can suffer serious health effects, even death, within minutes.

If you find a lost pet after the fireworks, call County Animal Services’ 24-hour emergency dispatch number at (619) 236-2341 so the animal can be cared for at the shelter. If you lose your pet, check the department’s lost and found page online and Finding Rover.

If you see your dog is at County Animal Services, you can pick up your pet starting at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 5.


Tracy DeFore is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact