Six Tips to Protect Your Pets July Fourth

Independence Day celebrations may be fun for you and your family but the noise from fireworks can frighten pets and make them frantic warns County Animal Services officials. 

“The fireworks displays and other noisemakers on the Fourth of July can trigger an escape or ‘flight’ response in pets and cause serious injury or even death,” said County Animal Services Director Dawn Danielson. “Pets may dig under, climb over, or break through gates, screens, fences, windows or doors and hurt themselves or get lost in attempts to escape the cacophony. Any time pets are loose, they face even greater dangers from vehicles or other animals.” 

Animal Services offers these six tips to keep your pets safe: 

  • Avoid taking your pet to fireworks displays.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Ensure your pets are easily identifiable and call the department at (619)767-2675 if you’ve found a lost pet. The County’s shelters are located in Carlsbad, Bonita and San Diego. The shelters will be closed July Fourth but animal control officers will be on duty. Lost pets with microchips and/or ID tags or licenses are more readily reunited with their owners.

If you’ve lost your pet, visit the shelter closest to you Friday, July 5 or check the department’s web site at For other department news, visit Animal Services’ Facebook page.