Simple tips help keep pets safe during Fourth of July festivities

July 4 is no “blast” for pets. The Arizona Animal Welfare League and SPCA offer the following tips for pet owners for a safe Independence Day holiday:


  • Resist the urge to take pets to Independence Day festivities. Keep pets safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area inside your home.
  • Never leave pets outside unattended, even in a fenced yard or on a chain. In their fear of loud noises, pets who normally wouldn’t leave the yard may escape or become entangled in their chain, causing injury or death.
  • Leave a television or radio playing at normal volume to keep your pet company while you’re attending picnics, parades, and other celebrations. Some animals can become destructive when frightened, so remove any items your pet could destroy or that would be harmful to your pet if chewed.
  • Never use fireworks around pets. Exposure to lit fireworks can result in severe burns and trauma to the face and paws of curious pets. Even unused fireworks can pose a danger, as many contain toxic substances such as potassium nitrate and arsenic.
  • Make sure your pets have a microchip and are wearing identification tags so that, if they do become lost, they can be returned promptly. AAWL & SPCA offers low-cost microchips, ID tags and vaccines; go to and click on the Vet Services tab for information about microchipping and vaccines.
  • Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can reach them. Alcoholic beverages have the potential to poison pets. If ingested, the animal could become very intoxicated and weak, severely depressed or could go into a coma. Death from respiratory failure is also possible.
  • If you are using a barbeque grill, always keep an eye on your pet, to be sure anything hot is out of reach of hungry dogs. Remember some food and drink may be toxic to pets.  

Protect pets from extreme heat

  • Do not leave your pet in the car. With only hot air to breathe inside a car, your pet can suffer serious health effects — even death — in a few short minutes. Partially opened windows do not provide sufficient air, but they do provide an opportunity for your pet to be stolen.
    • In the state of Arizona is it against the law to leave an animal in a parked car if injury or death can be a result.
  • Beware of hot pavement. Before walking, test the pavement — it it’s too hot for your hand or bare feet, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws too. Only walk your dog early in the morning or at night well after the sun has set.
  • Make sure pets are indoors or out of the sun. Keep pets indoors if the temperature is over 90 degrees. If your dog must be outside during the day, be sure he has shade available at all times, and remember, what is shady in the morning might not be shady in the afternoon.  At all times provide cool, clean water in a nonmetal, spill-proof container.


The mission of the Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA is to end the unnecessary euthanasia of dogs and cats in our community. Founded in 1971, AAWL & SPCA operates the state’s oldest and largest no-kill shelter.

The non-profit organization also provides adoption, resource and education programs that improve the quality of life for dogs and cats and offer support for pet guardians. No federal or state funding is received and all revenue is from private donations and fundraising efforts.

To find out more, go to or call 602-273-6852

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