Fireworks, the Fourth, and Fido

Published on June 30, 2023

City of San Antonio Animal Care Services Department  

Animal Care Services offers common sense tips for a worry-free holiday

SAN ANTONIO (June 30, 2023) – With the upcoming Fourth of July holiday fast approaching, now is the time for local pet owners to consider that both dogs and cats can become very frightened by all the noise and commotion we take for granted during gatherings. Since Independence Day parties tend to be louder than most, pet parents should take common sense precautions to protect their furry friends:

  • Pets don’t like loud noises. Woodlawn Lake will be the site of the official San Antonio Fourth of July celebration this year, complete with evening fireworks. Although there will be plenty of food and family fun, these events are no place for pets. Leave your pet at home in a secured, quiet area where they will be safe.  
  • A collar and microchip ID can help your pet get back home if they are lost. Roaming animals may be picked up by the city’s Animal Care Officers, or worse yet, could be hit by a car. Your pet’s registered microchip ID is more than their ticket home—microchips are the law in San Antonio. Double-check the contact information registered with the microchip now before the party gets started.
  • Don’t leave pets unattended outside, even in a fenced yard. Pets can overreact when they’re scared, and the dog who’d never left your yard before could easily dig a hole under the fence to escape the noise. Fear of fireworks and outside gatherings can also cause your pet to act out or become entangled.
  • Never leave your pet in the car while you enjoy the party. The South Texas heat can kill. It takes only minutes for the temperature in your car to soar over 120 degrees, and sadly, ACS sees cases where pets have been left in vehicles while their families enjoyed local amusement parks and attractions. This is illegal, and a cracked window does nothing to eliminate the heat buildup. Don’t risk your pet’s life. Leave your pet at home.                                                   
  • People food for people, please. This one can be tough when celebrating with your pets. If you’re going to give your dog some scraps, stay away from bones and keep it to a minimum. A good dog-friendly choice you might have at your Independence Day party? Watermelon! Remove the seeds and rind. Alcohol can be fatal to any animal and should never be given to them.  
  • Watch the BBQ pit. If it smells good to you, imagine what it smells like to your dog. Some smaller barbeque pits can be knocked over by a dog. Plus, a hungry pup can get sneaky, and you don’t want to deal with taking Rover to the ER.
  • Give your pet some peace and quiet. A closed-off area inside your home can be a blessing for a nervous pet. Some pets get destructive when they’re frightened, so remove valuables and provide toys. If your pet is crate trained, make sure they can curl up inside. Fresh food and water are a must, and a treat or two wouldn’t hurt either!
  • Protect your pet from pranksters. Some animal cruelty cases start out as what some consider “harmless pranks.” But there’s nothing harmless (or legal) about shooting fireworks at a pet. Bring outdoor pets indoors, at least for the evening.
  • When in doubt, consult your veterinarian. Local pet stores and your vet have a variety of remedies available to comfort your pet and set your mind at ease.

Tuesday, July 4 is an official City holiday, and the San Antonio Animal Care Services main campus at 4710 State Highway 151 will be closed, but animal care officers will be on duty. All pet-related calls can still be phoned into 3-1-1 or 210-207-6000. Remember-- it is illegal for residents to use or have fireworks within the San Antonio city limits.