Do Fireworks Scare Your Pets?

July 4th with all of its picnics, swimming, barbecues and family fun can be a scary time for your pets.  Help make it a little less scary with some helpful tips from the Michigan Humane Society!

The Fourth of July is just around the corner, and that means more and more families across metro Detroit and cities throughout the country,  will be enjoying the spectacle of fireworks, whether it’s the spectacular show over the Detroit River or the small sparklers and candles that light up neighborhoods every year. But these pyrotechnics can be very frightening for our four-legged friends, who are able to do some pretty remarkable and potentially dangerous things to try to escape the loud noises and bright lights. The Michigan Humane Society (MHS) is reminding pet owners to keep their pets safe this holiday season by ensuring they are well secured, have up-to-date identification and license tags, and are microchipped.

The number of lost pets arriving at animal shelters and humane organizations increases sharply around the Fourth of July holiday. Unfortunately, this is just a small percentage of the thousands of stray animals that MHS’ three metro Detroit adoption centers receive every year, most of whom lack any sort of identification. Without an ID tag and a microchip, the chance that these pets will be reunited with their families is less than 10 percent. MHS strongly recommends that pets have both visible ID tags and a microchip.

Microchipping is a safe, permanent and unalterable way for your pet to be identified at veterinary centers and humane organizations around the country. MHS offers microchipping for dogs and cats for approximately $50, by appointment at the organization’s three veterinary centers in Detroit, Rochester Hills and Westland. MHS also includes no-cost microchipping with all cat and kitten adoptions.

For those pets who do go missing, MHS offers an online tool called the ePole, which acts as a virtual telephone pole for public use, allowing those who lose a pet – as well as those who find a missing pet – to post the pet’s vital information and get in contact with others, 24 hours a day. The service is free to use, providing residents with a means to upload photos of the missing pet, post descriptions of the animal, and share the location where the animal was last seen or found. The ePole can be found online at


MHS also recommends the following tips to keep pets safe during Independence Day festivities:

  • Keep pets inside and secure. Frightened animals may jump tall fences, bolt out gates or run through screens during fireworks displays in order to “escape.”
  • Resist the urge to take dogs to firework displays.  Even those who are normally unflappable may be frightened by sudden, loud noises and may run off.
  • If you know your pet is afraid of loud noises, confine him in a safe, quiet room with their favorite toy and comfortable bedding.
  • If your dog shows signs of distress, give him a peanut butter-stuffed toy to help distract him and calm his nerves. Playing soft music may also help relieve the animal’s stress.
  • The holiday is often accompanied by hot weather.  Prevent heat exhaustion by keeping pets inside in a cool area during the heat of the day, with plenty of fresh, cool water.

For more information about pet safety, please visit, or call 1-866-MHUMANE.

The Michigan Humane Society is a private, nonprofit organization which cares for more than 100,000 animals each year, while working to end companion animal homelessness, provide the highest quality service and compassion to the animals entrusted to our care, and to be a leader in promoting humane values. For more information, call 1-866-MHUMANE or visit