College of Veterinary Medicine

Fourth of July Safety with Dean Steven Marks 


The Fourth of July is almost here. For many people, this is a relaxing holiday for BBQs, fellowship, and fireworks! However, for many animals, the jarring noise and light from fireworks can be upsetting and even dangerous. The College of Veterinary Medicine’s Dean, Steven Marks, offers some helpful tips to keep your pets safe!

Loud noises can be disturbing for all animals- large and small. If possible, keep livestock and horses in a secure enclosure to reduce stress. Bring your dogs and cats indoors as well. July 4th is a common night for pets to run away to escape startling fireworks.

“For companion animals like dogs and cats, keep them indoors, if possible,” said Marks. “Try to select an interior room without windows. This can block animals from the flashes of light from the fireworks and better insulate them from the noise. You can also use music or a white noise machine to help block the sound.”

Even if the noise and light don’t disturb your pet, dogs with a high prey drive who enjoy chasing toys like tennis balls could try to catch a firework! In general, be aware of the dangers of fireworks to people and pets.

“Additionally, if you know your pet will be anxious around fireworks, work with your veterinarian in advance to have some sedatives prescribed,” said Marks.

The American Veterinary Medical Association also recommends the following tips to keep your pets safe:

Ensure their identification tags are up-to-date, and if they aren’t microchipped, consider this simple procedure that can improve your chances of being reunited if your pet runs away.

Ensure you have a current photo of your cats, dogs, horses, goats, chickens, etc., just in case.

Keep sparklers, fireworks, hot charcoal and other fire hazards away from curious pets.

Excessive sun, heat and humidity can be dangerous. If you bring your pet to any gatherings, make sure they have access to shade and plenty of water.

After the celebration, check your yard for firework debris. Even if you didn’t set the fireworks off, debris could make its way onto your property and pose a choking or poisoning hazard to your animals.

Learn more:

Want to Discuss?

Get in touch and we will connect you with the author or another expert.

Or email us at

    This form is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.