Preparing pets for the fireworks

I’ve always enjoyed the fireworks on July 4th. The lights, the noise, it all seems spectacular to me, and mesmerizing. But for pets and other animals, the celebration has quite the opposite effect, often traumatic. Every year, pets go missing, running sometimes great distances and doing unusual things in a panic to get away from those big booms in the sky.

I even wrote about it once – from my imaginary pet’s POV.


This year, Regional Animal Services has partnered with a nonprofit organization that will set up a temporary tent outside of the Kent animal shelter (21615 – 64th Ave. S.) to assist residents who are looking for lost pets scared off by fireworks. Regional Animal Services is closed to the public on July 4, but on July 5, 6 and 7, volunteers from the Missing Pet Partnership will be stationed outside of the Kent shelter from noon to 6:00 p.m. The shelter will also have extended hours on July 5, from noon to 6:00 p.m. to help owners search for lost pets.

They will also help those who do not find their pet by providing materials for making flyers and writing “lost pet” messages on personal vehicles.

Here are their tips on how to prepare your pet for the holiday:

  1. Make sure pets are wearing at least two forms of current identification. This can be a personalized tag and a pet license (make sure your contact information is up to date with your licensing agency), a microchip and a pet license, or a combination thereof. Identified pets have a greater chance of quickly being returned to their owners.
  2. Keep your pets indoors in the quietest room of your house while fireworks are audible. Give them lots of reassurance. Play soothing music as a distraction.
  3. Have phone numbers handy for the closest animal emergency hospitals and animal shelters. If your pet becomes lost, on July 5th you can call 206-296-PETS (7387) and press 3 for King County Animal Care and Control’s “Lost Pet Hotline” and a list of lost or stray pets currently in the shelter. For pets registered with the Seattle Animal Shelter, contact (206) 386-PETS (7387).

Fireworks pose a fire hazard to property and a safety risk to those who use them. Every year police and fire departments around King County respond to numerous fireworks-related fires and injuries.

All fireworks-related injuries and fires should be reported directly to 9-1-1. Complaints about fireworks use and noise should be directed to the non-emergency numbers.

King County reminds everyone that the use of fireworks is restricted or banned in many cities and areas of King County. Follow local laws and exercise caution while enjoying July 4th celebrations.

Here is a list of fireworks-related non-emergency phone numbers and other non-emergency contacts.

2 thoughts to “Preparing pets for the fireworks”

  1. No amount of “soothing music” is gonna mask the war zone going on in the hood. I feel bad for the folks who have to work in the a.m.

  2. There is no preparing my dog for fireworks. Short of drugging him (which I’ve considered, because he’s so miserable when he’s scared) the only thing that helps at all is sticking him in a crate, covering it so he can’t see out, and turning on loud music.

    Trying to soothe him just makes things worse, presumably because he thinks that /we/ think that something is wrong. Ignoring him seems to work better.

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