Safety First on the Fourth!

Jul 2, 2020

The Fourth of July is just around the corner, and although this year is an atypical one, there may still be festivities in your area. Whether you participate or not, it’s important to make sure your pets get through the celebrations safely and comfortably. Below, we share some general tips for keeping animals cool and calm this Independence Day.


Do not leave dogs tied or chained up outside. Besides the possibility of sunburn or dehydration, if a dog gets spooked by nearby fireworks and tries to make a break for it, the dog can get seriously injured. In fact, we don’t recommend chaining dogs any time of the year especially during the summer months in Texas. THLN continues to work to get the Adequate Shelter and Restraint bill passed for this very reason. Click here to learn about how to pass a tethering ordinance in your own city. 

Keep your dogs and other pets indoors in a room or comfortable crate that lets them feel safe and secure during the festivities. Make sure they have their ID tags and snap a photo of them just in case, but an escape-proof room or crate is best. If you know your dog gets super stressed out by loud noises like fireworks, it may be helpful to play some soft white noise in the room with them to help muffle the noise. 

Keep your pooches cool. Only use sunscreen made for animals on your pets if you spend the day outdoors. If you style them up in a fun costume, make sure they get plenty of water, keep them in the shade, and avoid hot sidewalks. One easy rule of thumb is to place the back of your hand on the sidewalk for around 10 seconds. If you can’t handle the heat, that means your pets’ paws likely can’t either. Grassy, shady areas are best for walking and hanging out. 

Keep dangerous non-food items out of reach. Glow sticks, beads, and streamers are fun to wear or decorate with but can upset or block a pet’s digestive system if ingested. The same goes for alcoholic beverages and insect-repellent products. A best practice is to essentially not change your pet’s diet in any way, either with non-food items or foods that can be toxic like chocolate, onions, or grapes. Review the foods that don’t sit well with pups before a barbecue, and just because you know what not to feed your pet, it’s important that kids and others know as well. Sometimes the worst a pet will get is an upset stomach, but that’s still no way to spend the holiday weekend if it can be avoided.

Remember to practice social distancing where you can. Your dog isn’t the only one who should spend the Fourth of July a safe distance away from others. Follow your city’s guidelines for Independence Day festivities and remember there’s nothing wrong with chilling in the backyard and watching fireworks from the porch, as long as your pets are secure. You can help your dog if he sneaks too much frosting, but it will be harder to do so if you get sick too.

Once the Fourth of July fun is over, we’ll be getting back to business prepping for the primary runoff elections on July 14. While you’re protecting your pets at home, we’re working toward statewide protections for animals in the legislature, and we could use your help. To learn about who we’re endorsing this runoff election, click here and vote with us for a more humane Texas!

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