Love your dogs?—Keep them safely inside on the Fourth of July

Fireworks are terrifying, overwhelming⁠ and hazardous for both wild and domestic animals



A Valley rescued pet safely inside home of adopted family

Gloria Bernstein, Reporter

The July 4 celebration is steeped in tradition and the reason people set off their own fireworks or attend local displays.

But what do these traditions do to our pets?

Retired Valley veterinarian, Dr. Ronald Delmay, responded to Northeast Valley News request for information on fireworks and your beloved pets, “Simply put, animals, both wild and domestic are terrified by firework displays and the ensuing noise and will inevitably look for any way possible to escape—often harming themselves in the process.”

Animal shelters prepare each year to receive lost and frantic dogs that escape a back yard or even a cage during July 4 celebration.

According to Delmay, the single best thing you can do is keep your pet inside your home until the fireworks are over.

The stress of a fireworks event can often cause certain dogs so much stress that they need to be seen by a veterinarian.

“Keep dogs securely inside homes on the 4th of July,” Delmay said. “If at all possible, comfort them, talk to them, but in all likelihood the fireworks will still be terrifying to them—but the chances are better that they won’t end up in an animal shelter, or worse.”

He reminded pet owners and those who love animals of all that we know about dogs.

“We know the power and keen senses that dogs offer as they serve humans in many ways—such as service animals, police dogs, comfort dogs and they are even being used in science to detect human disease, so yes, keeping a dog exposed to fireworks is like placing them in a war zone, and the stress can be extremely damaging.”

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASCPA) lists at least four ways that fireworks harm pets.  Fear and anxiety, gastrointestinal distress, red blood cell dysfunction and muscle and nerve dysfunction are the four main stressors that can cause long-term damage to some animals.

According the Humane Society of the United States, fireworks can be harmful to wildlife as well.

“Predatory birds, like bald eagles, see the harsh sounds and lights from fireworks as a threat, and may abandon their nests or habitats entirely. The explosions may cause other birds to take off en masse for prolonged periods of time and to use up vital energy reserves needed for survival. Fireworks have even frightened birds into flying so far out to sea that they did not have the energy to make the return flight. “

The Humane Society also lists suggestions on how to keep your pet safe during the fireworks events and throughout the year as well.