COLORADO SPRINGS — It’s natural to want to celebrate holidays with your pets, but the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region said it’s also important this Independence Day to remember that fireworks can cause animals a great deal of stress.

HSPPR said pet owners should learn the signs of noise phobias and practice pet safety at all times this holiday weekend. Common signs of noise phobias include: shaking/trembling, excessive drooling, barking or howling, trying to hide or to escape the house/yard, refusal to eat, and loss of bladder control. If symptoms persist after fireworks are over pet owners should consult their veterinarian. 

Additionally, the days following the 4th of July are often some of the busiest for stray pet intake at animal welfare organizations across the country, due to pets escaping from fear of fireworks. 

Here are some tips pet owners can do to ensure their pets are safe this 4th of July:

  • Keep license and updated identification tags on them and make sure microchip information is up to date. HSPPR responds to an increased number of stray dog calls during the 4th of July. Keeping their licenses, ID’s, and microchip information up to date and on them at all times helps frightened runaways make it home faster. 
  • Take them on a walk. Before you leave, and before fireworks start walk your pet so they can have a bathroom break, and express some energy. 
  • Use a leash or carrier. If you have to go outside while fireworks are going off keep your pet close to you. 
  • Keep your pets at home. Even if your dog does not have noise phobias, fireworks can cause burns or other serious injuries to curious pets. 
  • If possible, keep pets in interior rooms. Keep them in a place they feel safe, and use calming music, not the television, to provide distraction. 
  • Provide them with an “escape.” Pets will often seek out a familiar crate, bed, or hiding spot during loud fireworks. Make sure they have access to a place they feel is their “own.”
  • Be fire safe! Do not let your dog go near fireworks, lighter fluid, or matches. Sniffing or eating them could cause serious injury.