LMAS: Keep Pets at Home During July 4th Celebrations

June 30, 2020

Louisville Metro Animal Services reminds pets owners to keep their four-legged companions safe during 4th of July weekend. While many look forward to the traditional celebratory sights and sounds of fireworks in the sky, it can be a scary experience for pets. The loud noises associated with the 4th of July often result in frightened pets running off, and a spike in stray animals entering local animal shelters. When dogs experience a large amount of fear and anxiety at once, their initial response is to retreat. There are preventative measures you can take to protect your pet(s) and keep them feeling safe:


Leave pets inside

Close all windows and curtains to muffle the sound of fireworks, and always provide plenty of food and water. Turning on a radio, television or fan also may help calm your pet. For pets who experience severe anxiety, owners may want to consult their veterinarian about prescribing a mild sedative to ease the pets’ stress. Owners who are leaving town for the holiday should consider boarding their pets.


Leave pets at home during firework displays

Animals have a heightened sense of hearing. The loud “booming” noise can be deafening and cause pets to panic and want to hide. Take pets for quiet walks before the festivities begin or after they end.


Distract distressed or anxious pets

If pets exhibit uncharacteristic behaviors, such as incessant pacing, crying or whining, owners should help distract them through play or another enjoyable pet activity. There are several products designed to help reduce anxiety in dogs, such as relaxing music and snug calming vests.  


Make sure pets are wearing collars with identification tags at all times

This even applies to pets who only live indoors. The ID tag should include the owner’s current address and phone number. Microchipping is also important, in case pet’s collars or tags are lost.


Keep pets away from alcohol

Alcohol is extremely dangerous to dogs. Small amounts of alcohol can cause your dog to become dangerously intoxicated, go into a coma, or in severe cases, die from respiratory failure. Even beer is toxic. Fermented hops and ethanol are poisonous to dogs and cats.


Clean up firework debris before letting pets outside

If pets eat the debris, it may cause digestive problems or serious injuries. Owners should contact their veterinarian immediately if their pets have been exposed to any potentially toxic or poisonous substances.


If your pet becomes lost

LMAS can help you search for your lost pet. The first step is to report your four-legged companion lost on our website and view stray pets currently in our shelter. You'll also want to post missing pet flyers around your neighborhood and photos in lost pets groups on social media.  Next, visit the LMAS Shelter to complete a visual search of our kennels for your lost pet and meet with our lost and found coordinator. For more info, click here.