Keep Pets Safe This Independence Holiday

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

Lane County Animal Services (LCAS) wants your pets to have a safe and happy Fourth of July holiday. Please keep in mind that while the festivities may be enjoyable for people, they can be traumatic and even dangerous to pets.

To keep your pets and animals safe this holiday, LCAS staff offer the following tips:

Secure pets or animals in a quiet place where they will feel safe.

Use caution with open flames and fireworks as pets may be burned or could chase the fireworks and become injured.

Remember that pets do not understand holiday festivities, the sounds and sights of which can actually be a traumatic experience.

Never light fireworks near barns or fields, as it is an extreme fire hazard. And, horses can be especially frightened by fireworks, causing them to run through fences and become lost or injured. They can also injure people when they are startled by the lights and noise.

Keep dogs leashed if you take them outside the home.

Use caution when in or around crowds or people the pet doesn’t know.

Remember, dogs get very excited during horseplay in and out of the water and have a tendency to bite when excited.


Use caution when picnicking and barbecuing, many small children are bitten while walking around with food in their hands.

Protect your dog from other dogs that may be loose, keep them at a distance, many bites occur while animal owners are trying to break up a dog fight.

If your pet is hot, give them lots of water – indoors or out.

Never leave pets locked in cars – the hot summer sun can raise temperatures to 120 degrees inside your car, even with windows rolled down.

Prevent sunburns – keep four-legged friends out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., peak skin damaging hours. Otherwise rub sun block on unprotected areas such as skin around lips and tips of noses and ears, especially on fair-colored pets.

Provide plenty of shelter – animals should not be left alone outside on hot days, even in the shade. Shade moves throughout the day so pets need to be kept under a cool shelter or inside during peak hours when possible.

Watch out for heatstroke – symptoms of pet heatstroke include panting, staring, high fever, rapid heartbeat, vomiting, collapse and disobedience, among others. If heatstroke is suspected, call a veterinarian immediately and apply water-soaked towels to hairless areas of the animal’s body to lower its temperature.

Be mindful of overexertion – exercise is important to maintain a healthy weight, but too much exertion may cause overheating. Keep walks early in the morning or late in the evening and at a relaxed pace.

If you go hiking, pack supplies for pets as you would for yourself on long hikes – bring extra food and water for pets on long walks as well as an emergency first aid kit.

Keep pets on leashes – prevent your animals from getting lost, in fights or consuming things that could cause sickness. When roaming freely, animals are particularly prone to drink from puddles that may contain antifreeze or other toxic chemicals.

The entire staff at Lane County Animal Services wishes you, your family and your pet a safe and fun July 4 holiday.


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