Tampa Bay veterinarian warns pet owners about 4th of July dangers


TAMPA BAY, Fla. (WFLA) – While you’re celebrating this Independence Day with spectacular fireworks, your pets could be panicking.  

“They set off fireworks in my neighborhood, loud ones,” said Donald Dillard when asked about his dog Rosco.  

“All dogs act different. It’s just a matter of what she is going to do,” said new dog owner Kayla Ivancsits.    

Dr. Douglas Spiker, veterinarian and president of Essentials PetCare, a Walmart walk-in vet clinic with locations in Florida and Texas, is warning pet owners about the dangers animals face when it comes to fireworks.   

“Every year we have stories where we see pets lost or escape during Fourth of July, become overwhelmingly scared,” said Dr. Spiker.  

“He will sit up in bed and he kind of perks his ears up and might bark every now and then,” Kacie Carroll said about her dog, Nas.  

Dr. Spiker recommends you have a safe and secure spot prepared, especially if your pet has anxiety or is easily frightened by loud noises.

“If they are afraid of firework noise, you want to make sure they are in a dark area of the home preferably without windows. There are even small kennel devices that you can put your dog in that could help drown out noise so that they don’t feel so scared,” Dr. Spiker said. “Lastly, some animals have out-of-control anxiety and owners should consult with their veterinarian where they could possibly obtain medication.”

The loud noise caused by fireworks can also cause pets to run away. Dr. Spiker suggests micro-chipping your animal as a precaution.   

And if you do decide to venture out with your four-legged friend this Fourth of July, Dr. Spiker recommends keeping them away from discarded trash. You should also have plenty of fresh water on-hand for them. 

“You want to make sure they don’t have access to any trash or human food. Bones could be harmful if they got into them,” said Dr. Spiker. “Hot days and climates could be easy for them to overdo it. They could be dangerously overheated and that could be deadly.”

For more information about Essentials PetCare, visit EssentialsPetCare.com.  

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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