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American Red Cross Shares Tips for Pet Safety During Fourth of July Festivities and Travel

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We owe it to our pets to take some extra care around the Fourth of July to ensure their safety

Our furry family members add so much to our lives and holidays are no exception. Trips, parties and even photo shoots with our pets in festive holiday attire are all ways in which pets can get involved and excited during holiday activities.

During Fourth of July celebrations, pets may find food that wasn’t intended for them, or see unattended open doors to explore, increased automobile and visitor traffic, as well fireworks displays of all sizes. It’s all very exciting, but we owe it to our pets to take some extra care to ensure their safety. The American Red Cross Pet First Aid App puts first aid steps right in your pocket just in case something unforeseen happens.

With ways to tailor your app to your specific pet, you can get step by step guidance for situations like bite wounds and allergic reactions. Also, you can find local veterinary hospitals if you’re on vacation or away from home.

Below are some tips we’ve collected to help you think of ways to make this holiday a safe and enjoyable one for the whole family – including the four-legged variety!


Research before you go to find pet friendly locations like hotels and dog parks

Pack the essentials

  • Water Bowl
  • Pet’s regular food
  • Medications
  • Waste bags
  • Tags, collar and leash
  • Medical records and Vaccination certificates (including rabies)
  • Grooming supplies / towel
  • Kennel
  • Blanket or bed
  • Favorite toys
  • Don’t let you pets wander around the car.

  • Keep your pet in a kennel or restrained with a pet seatbelt while the car is moving. This is for your pet’s safety as well as your own during an accident and will help avoid distracted driving.
  • NEVER leave pets or children in your vehicle, no matter how short your errand is going to be.

    Bring a current photo of your pet in case they go missing.

    Bring a pet first aid kit.

  • Gauze
  • Tweezers
  • Hydrogen peroxide for cleaning cuts
  • Vet wraps that work on fur
  • Sterile pads
  • Compact thermal (space) blanket
  • Styptic powder or cornstarch to help stop bleeding
  • Plastic card (expired credit or library card) for scraping stingers from skin
  • Pen light
  • List of emergency numbers: Your vet, Local after-hours emergency animal hospital, National Animal Poison Control Center – 888-426-4435
  • Make sure your pet is microchipped just in case collars get lost or slip off.

    Always have plenty of fresh water and make sure there are ways for pets to stay cool.

    Play white noise at night to distract your pets from strange and new outdoor noises.

    Download the American Red Cross Pet First Aid App.


  • Alcoholic drinks can be poisonous to your pets. Keep thirsty pets away from drink ingredients.
  • No “people food.” Pets can get sick if they eat foods they’re not familiar with. If people food is allowed in your home, make sure you let your guests know if begging for food is allowed as well.
  • Keep them away from glow-in-the-dark items. Many of these things are filled with toxins if ingested.
  • Exercise your pets before the party. This will burn off excess energy and will allow pets to be more calm while all the guests are arriving.
  • Make sure trash is stored away from curious pets who may find their own way to get into the leftovers. Also, there are a lot of dangerous things in trash from a summer party: aluminum foil, plastic wrap, wood skewers, bones and corn cobs.
  • Watch open doors as guests arrive and depart. It only takes a second for a pet to take advantage of an interesting escape route.
  • Fireworks

  • If you live near a site where fireworks will be booming, think about taking a night trip to somewhere more remote or further away from the noise.
  • You may want to consider boarding your pets at an out of the way facility – not ideal – but could help with pets that have a particularly high sensitivity to fireworks.
  • Sound proof your house and use white noise to drown out the sounds. TBs, radios, heavy curtains can all help. Hanging out in cozy interior rooms can help as well.
  • While not a plausible solution for all caregivers, some pets will need a sedative from your vet. Some pets are so affected by the sounds and light from fireworks displays they can seriously hurt themselves or others. Talk to your vet to see what you can do to ensure the wellbeing of your pet.
  • DOWNLOAD RED CROSS APPS The Red Cross Emergency App can help keep you and your loved ones safe by putting vital information in your hand for more than 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts. The Red Cross First Aid App puts instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies at your fingertips. Download these apps by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in your app store or at

    About the American Red Cross:

    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.