Tips for keeping pets safe on Fourth of July


Fireworks can be terrifying for pets. More pets run away on July 4 than any other day of the year.

Last year, Animal Friends of the Valleys, the animal shelter that services Canyon Lake and the surrounding areas, took in 256 stray animals that ran away from their homes in shock and fear of fireworks. Only 73 of them were returned to their owners. Thirty-two were dead on arrival after having been hit by cars and 151 were unclaimed.

Animal Friends of the Valleys would like to remind pet owners to make sure their pets remain securely inside the home where they don’t become one of the 71.5 percent that doesn’t come home after the Fourth of July holiday. Animal Friends of the Valleys warns residents that they could face hefty fines if their pets are impounded on July 4. The shelter charges a fee for impounding and boarding animals. There are also fee associated with complaints of barking dogs and non-compliant dogs.

The shelter recommends the following pet safety tips for Fourth of July.

Update Identification

It is crucial to make sure that the pet’s license and ID tag are updated. Collars might slip off so it is important to have pets microchipped before July 4.

Exercise Early

Take a long walk, play fetch and tire the pet out before dusk so that they are tired before the fireworks begin.

Make a Den

Create a special safe space in the quietest room of the home for the pet to run to when loud noises scare them. Fill the space with blankets and pillows to absorb the sound and turn on soft music or low TV volume.

Talk to the Vet

If the pet is extremely anxious, talk to a veterinarian about medications and techniques that might help alleviate the pet’s fear and anxiety.

Leave Pet Home

Resist the temptation to bring pets to places with loud noises, new people and unfamiliar environments. This could all be too overwhelming for the pet and they may make a break for it.


Keep pets busy with treats and toys to play with.

Pet Recovery Tips

Losing a pet can be a scary time for both the pet and owner. To help reunite the two, do the following:

  • Physically look for the pet at the shelter on a daily basis. Animal Friends of the Valleys is located at 33751 Mission Trail, Wildomar.
  • Fill out a Lost Pet report on the Animal Friends of the Valleys website.
  • Use social media as a tool in networking to help find the lost pet.
  • If the pet is microchipped, contact the microchip company.
  • Check with neighbors for sightings of the pet.
  • Do not give up. Keep looking.