PET SAFETY ALERT – Pets & Fireworks Don’t Mix

PET SAFETY ALERT – Pets & Fireworks Don’t Mix

By Don Hanson, PCBC-A, BFRAP

< Updated 26JUN23 >

If your pets get anxious and nervous at the sound of fireworks, start planning how to keep them safe and minimize their anxiety.

  • If you live in an area where others set off fireworks, have a conversation with those people now. Politely explain how distressing fireworks are to your pets. Ask them to either refrain from using fireworks or at least keep their use to a minimum when you are home. If you cannot reach an agreement, make sure you have the phone number of the local authorities on speed dial and do not hesitate to make a complaint.
  • Talk to your veterinarian about anti-anxiety medications you may use to help your pet. In addition, over-the-counter products such as Bach Rescue Remedy, Adaptil Dog Appeasing Pheromone, and CBD-endocannabinoid-based products specifically for pets and certain essential oils, such as Lavender, may also be helpful.

According to the American Humane Association:

  • Ten million pets get lost every year. This is more than the population of New York City.
  • Of the dogs entering shelters, approximately 35% are adopted, 31% are euthanized, and 26% are returned to their owner.
  • 90% of lost pets are never rehomed with their families without proper ID or microchipping.
  • A third of pets will get lost in their lifetime.
  • An estimated 2 million pets are stolen each year.

To prevent your dog from becoming lost on the 4th of July:

  • Please keep your dog on a leash unless inside or in a fenced yard. If people are using fireworks in your neighborhood, I recommend that you remain in the yard with your dog the entire time they are outdoors.
  • If you have guests in your home, ensure everyone is careful not to let the dog out accidentally.
  • Do NOT take your dog to the fireworks. They will not enjoy the experience and may become frightened and run off.
  • If you choose to use fireworks at your home or camp, or if you have neighbors that do so, make sure that your dog is inside, preferably in a room where they will not hear or see the fireworks.

To give your pet the best chance of being returned to you:

  • Please ensure your dog is either microchipped or wearing a collar with a current, readable, and legible ID tag.
  • If your dog is microchipped, ensure the chip registry has your current contact information.
  • Keep a current photo of your pet that you can use on a “Lost Pet” poster if your pet goes missing. Make sure it’s a good photo that clearly shows any identifying characteristics of your pet.
  • Maintain a list of phone numbers for your local animal control organization, police department, animal shelter(s), and pet-related businesses to notify them if your pet is lost. Many will happily post “Lost Pet” posters that you create.
  • If your dog is microchipped, contact the chip registry if they go missing. Many registries will help disseminate information about your missing dog on social media to aid recovery.
  • If you live in Maine, contact Maine Lost Dog Recovery via their FaceBook page (, as they can be very helpful in assisting you in getting the word out about your lost dog.
  • If you are traveling with your pet, provide your pet with a temporary ID tag with local contact information for wherever you are staying.

Don Hanson lives in Bangor, Maine, where he is the co-owner of the Green Acres Kennel Shop ( and the founder of, an online educational resource for people with dogs and cats. He is a Professional Canine Behavior Consultant (PCBC-A) accredited by the Pet Professional Accreditation Board (PPAB) and a Bach Foundation Registered Animal Practitioner (BFRAP). Don is a member of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG), serving on the Board of Directors and Steering Committee and chairing the Advocacy Division. He is also a founding director of Pet Advocacy International (PIAI). In addition, Don produces and co-hosts The Woof Meow Show podcast, available at, the Apple Podcast app, and this blog. The opinions in this article are those of Don Hanson.

© Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved

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