For many around the United States, tomorrow is one of celebration, food, and fireworks of all kinds! There are so many traditions around the country: parades, barbecues and picnics, eating contests, going to a fireworks show, or even setting off fireworks yourself. However you and your family are celebrating the Fourth of July, I hope you have a safe and fun day.

For those who, like me, have animals to care for during today and the next couple days, I hope everything is relatively calm and quiet. If your pets get freaked out by the fireworks, make sure they have a safe place to be and they have their collars and IDs on in case they do run off. A safe space to be can be in the bathtub, under the bed, or even in a closet! Being left alone outside while fireworks are going off can be stressful for some dogs and cats so it might be good to make sure they’re inside if they tend to get anxious during this time of the year.

One reason to keep your pet inside while fireworks go off and on leash while outside is to reduce the chances of them running off when spooked. Even the most well behaved dog could get scared after a loud boom! There are so many shelters around the country that say that this time of year (early July) can be very busy with an influx of lost pets and frantic owners.

Having your pet micro-chipped and wearing a collar with identification can help your pet be returned to you if they are lost. And there are many resources you can use to help track them down if they do run off! But making sure they are inside during the firework heavy parts of the day and having one designated person keep an eye on them throughout the day can make such a difference.

If you’re planning a party or being outside all day, there are a few things to consider too! Make sure your pets have plenty of water and shade (and consistent access to both throughout the day), as they can get dehydrated and sunburnt just like us. It would also be good to keep pets inside the house during really hot and/or humid parts of the day. Do not keep your pet in the car (except while you’re driving obviously), as being trapped in a hot car for even a few minutes could injury or kill your pet.

And it might be good to have someone (like a kid or another animal person if you’re hosting) keep an eye on your pets during a party so they don’t escape or don’t eat a bunch of people food when no one is looking and get sick. Having a sick or missing pet on a holiday like the Fourth is not fun for anyone! With that though, it can be good to have your vet’s and the emergency vet’s information handy in case something happens this week.

If you have livestock like horses, it can be good to go around the pasture and make sure that the fencing is relatively secure, as many horses tend to rely on the flight part of their ‘fight or flight’ response to scary situations. It can also be good to talk to your neighbors about fireworks if they scare your horses. This is also good for other pet owners because while your neighbor might not stop completely, they may be more mindful of how many fireworks they set off and how long they go!

Also make sure to clean up any trash you find and/or bring outside. Having a picnic and lighting fireworks off at a park is so much fun but leftover litter in these spaces can hurt local wildlife. If you pack it in, please pack it out. Trash of all kinds, but especially plastic, has an immense effect of wildlife. This is something to keep in mind year round as well!

Lastly, I hope everyone has a safe, fun, and mostly relaxing Fourth of July!

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