Thursday, June 13, 2024

Fourth of July fireworks and festivities are fun for humans, hard on pets

More pets go missing around holidays that involve fireworks (Port City Daily/Michael Praats)
Fireworks can be terrifying to pets, and according to the New Hanover Sheriff’s Animal Services Unit, more pets go missing during holidays with fireworks – like the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve – compared to others. (Port City Daily/Michael Praats)

The Fourth of July is a time for celebration and festivities — it’s also one of the most common times for pets to run away.

WILMINGTON —For Americans, the Fourth of July is a time for celebration, but for their dogs and other pets, it can be a tough night.

Many pets don’t enjoy the annual barrage of explosions illuminating the night sky. That is why the New Hanover Sheriff’s Office Animal Services Unit is reminding residents to prepare pets for the festivities.

The Animal Services Unit is also warning pet owners that that fireworks lead to a lot of missing pets on Fourth of July.

“Please remember to bring in your pets before dark on July 4th so that anyone setting off fireworks [doesn’t] scare your pets away … We typically see an influx of lost pets during events such as July 4th and New Year’s when people are setting off fireworks in celebration,” according to a Facebook post from the Animal Services Unit.

Related: Bringing fireworks to North Carolina for the Fourth? Save yourself a fine

The ASPCA also offers tips for pet owners during the holiday, not only about fireworks but all aspects of proper pet care.

An issue associated with many holidays, including the Fourth of July, is keeping alcoholic beverages out of the reach of pets.

“It’s no secret that alcoholic beverages have the potential to poison pets. If ingested, your pet could become very intoxicated and weak, severely depressed or could go into a coma. Death from respiratory failure is also a possibility in severe cases,” the ASPCA cautions.

Keeping all gates and doors closed is another good idea for pet owners considering the number of animals that escape during the Fourth of July.

“Given all the excitement around Independence Day parties, it isn’t uncommon for some pets to get scared and run away. Be sure that all exits are securely closed, and that your pet is inside or in your sight at all times. Also, be sure that your pet is wearing proper identification tags, and that their microchip is up-to-date should they get out,” the ASPCA recommends.

It is also important to remember fireworks that leave the ground are considered illegal in North Carolina (public displays such as the firework show hosted by the City of Wilmington are permitted), and anyone caught with illegal fireworks faces criminal charges.


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