4th of July Pet Safety
It is estimated that around 60 percent of all animals become distressed by the loud noises and streaking lights of fireworks that are often part of Independence Day celebrations, making the 4th of July and the days that follow the busiest time for LA Animal Services Centers throughout the City.
So as you plan and celebrate Independence Day, LA Animal Services would like to share the following pet safety tips to keep you and your pets safe during and after the 4th of July festivities.
To report fireworks in your neighborhood, you may call LAPD’s non-emergency number at 877-275-5273 or file a complaint online.
Pet Safety for Dogs, Cats, and Rabbits
- Keep away from fireworks.
Fireworks are illegal in the City of Los Angeles. You can prevent potential burns, injuries, or possible ingestion by keeping all pets out of the vicinity of fireworks and asking friends and neighbors to avoid using them. Even if your pet does not seem obviously upset by fireworks, they can still cause harm to pets.
- No festive foods for pets.
Avoid the urge to feed your pets table scraps or other foods intended for people. Be especially careful to keep them away from common foods that are potentially toxic to pets, like onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes, raisins, salt, and yeast dough.
- Keep your dogs, cats, and rabbits indoors and create a calm environment.
The best way to keep your pets safe is to make sure they stay indoors and in an enclosed room, if possible. If you allow your dog outside, be sure that your gates or fence are secure or that your pet stays on a leash.
If hosting a gathering w/friends, try creating a safe place in your home where your pet can have some quiet space away from your company like a room that is off-limits to guests, or a familiar crate with their favorite toys or comforting blanket. For bunnies, provide extra places for them to hide within their living spaces (like an extra hidey hole). You can also play calm and soothing music and keep the room as quiet as possible. In addition, closing doors, windows, and blinds will also help to distract pets from the sounds of fireworks.
- Ensure your pet has an up-to-date ID.
Reunite with your furry family member right away! Ensure your dog, cat, or rabbit is wearing a microchip with your current contact information, or that your canine and feline friend is wearing a collar or harness with a current license and/or ID tag.
For information on getting or renewing your dog’s license, visit:
If your pet is not microchipped, contact LA Animal Services and schedule an appointment to have your companion animal microchipped. We’re currently offering complimentary microchips for pets (while supplies last). Please schedule an appointment by going online or calling (888) 452-7381. Most veterinary clinics also offer microchipping!
- Look for your lost pet right away.
According to an ASPCA survey, about half of missing dogs and a third of missing cats were found by searching their local neighborhoods.
We encourage people who have lost their dog or cat to post a photo and description of the pet on LA City Lost and Found Pets, Nextdoor.com, or Pawboost.com, to improve the chances of reuniting with their companion animals.
In addition to using social media, LA Animal Services also suggests that individuals who are able to do so, provide temporary home care for lost or stray companion animals in their neighborhood through our Shelter-at-Home program. Shelter-at-Home expands LA Animal Services’ foster program and increases community involvement in helping animals find their owners while enabling pets to be held in less stressful environments.
If a member of the community finds a lost pet, is unable to locate the owner, and is unable to provide temporary foster care, please call 888-452-7381 and make an appointment to bring the pet to the closest Animal Services Center. If the pet appears sick or injured, please bring them to the closest Animal Services Center immediately. DO NOT LEAVE the dog or cat in an unsafe place.
Click here if your pet is missing or you find a lost pet.
- Adopt or foster to create life-saving space in our Centers.
Every year around the 4th of July, LA Animal Services Centers can fill beyond capacity with terrified, lost pets. By fostering a dog, cat, or kitten, you can help give these shelter guests a break from kennel life while ensuring life-saving space is available for sick, injured, or abandoned animals who make their way into our Centers and have nowhere else to go. Click here to find out how you can adopt or foster a new furry friend.
4th of July Horse Safety
Fireworks and the 4th of July celebrations may also frighten and cause injury to horses. To keep your equine friends safe, here are some key tips:
- Consider moving your horse indoors for the evening if a fireworks display is due to take place in a location adjacent to where your horse grazes.
- If you will be leaving your horse outside, make sure all fencing and gates are secure.
- If you decide to stable your horse make sure they have a thick bed with high banks and that there is nothing obvious on which they could injure themselves.
- Give your horse plenty of hay to keep him/her occupied
- Play music or leave a radio on to muffle the sounds of fireworks and help to keep your horse calm.
- Ear covers can help to reduce the noise.
- After a fireworks event has taken place, check your fields/arena for spent fireworks as these could cause injury if ingested.
Our LA Animal Services Centers are open by appointment. We will be closed on Monday, July 4 to observe the 4th of July holiday. For more information about LA Animal Services and more ways to keep you and your pets safe, visit laanimalservices.com.