Pets & Fireworks



New Year’s Eve fireworks are an exciting event for humans, but some pets are severely distressed by the noise of fireworks. Dogs’ and cats’ hearing is much more sensitive than ours, so those loud booms can be extremely uncomfortable!
The Humane Society of Tampa Bay ( ) offers these tips for keeping your pets safe and calm during the holiday festivities:
• Keep all pets safely confined indoors on December 31 and the days leading up to them when people may be inclined to set off fireworks. There are many family and group activities that are perfect for pets, but a public fireworks display or any other type of gathering where fireworks will be set off usually isn’t one of them.
• It’s best to leave your pets safely indoors, preferably with a radio or TV on at normal volume (too loud makes things worse) to dampen jarring noises. Pets usually kept outdoors should be brought inside as an extra measure of safety.
• Never leave your pet in a parked car, even at night during a fireworks display. On a warm day, temperatures inside a vehicle can rise to dangerous levels within minutes. On an 85-degree day, for example, the temperature inside a car even with the windows cracked open can reach 102 degrees within just 10 minutes; after 30 minutes the temperature will reach 120 degrees. Even when the temperature outside is a balmy 72 degrees, the temperature inside your car can rocket to a fatal 116 degrees in less than an hour’s time.
• If your pet is distressed by loud noises like fireworks displays, consult your veterinarian. There are a variety of medications and techniques to help alleviate your pet’s fear and anxiety.
• Invest in a Thundershirt. The Humane Society’s shelter has had great success with Thundershirts for pets who are easily stressed by loud noises and other causes of anxiety. Thundershirts are available for purchase at the Shelter, located at 3809 N. Armenia Ave. in Tampa. The shelter is open Tuesday – Sunday at noon, and the phone number is 813-870-3304. Visit the Thundershirts website ( to find out more..
• Ensure your pet is wearing a collar and identification tag with current contact information so you can be reunited quickly if your pet does escape. The Humane Society also suggests writing your name and phone number in permanent ink on the inside of your pet’s collar, just in case the tags get lost. All pets, even those kept indoors full-time, should wear collars with identification tags at all times. Indoor-only animals can become so frightened during fireworks displays that they take desperate measures to escape the noise, such as breaking through window or door screens.
• Microchip your pet with your current contact information registered with the chip company. This gives your pet the best chance of being identified and returned to you. The Animal Health Center offers microchipping for just $15.

Minimize the stress and fear your pet will experience by following the tips above so both you and your pet will have a Happy New Year