Keep your pets safe on the 4th

Published on: July 3, 2019

Chamber news & views

How are you going to spend July 4th? Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, fairs, concerts, baseball games and family get-togethers.

But let’s not forget the role hot dogs play. Americans eat some 20 billion hot dogs per year, and 155 million of them are consumed on July 4th alone, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council. That’s enough franks to stretch from L.A. to D.C. five times.

The amount Americans plan to spend on beer and wine is $1.6 billion, alone, out of the total $6.9 billion on food, according to WalletHub’s 4th of July survey. Beer sales bought for July 4 celebrations tend to be up 40%, according to Marketplace. In fact, Independence Day is the third most popular holiday for adults to consume alcohol, according to a survey by Yahoo.

The average person’s projected spending this Independence Day is $75.35. Most people (62%) are planning to celebrate with a cookout, while 12% plan on going to a parade.

And who can forget the fireworks? The estimated spending on 4th of July fireworks is $825 million dollars. WalletHub also estimates that 16,000 fireworks displays are held each year, with 68% of fireworks’ injuries occurring within a month of July 4.

Now that is all well and good, except for the injuries part. But we haven’t talked about my pet peeve this time of the year. It’s estimated that 78 million dogs and 85.8 million cats are owned in the United States. Approximately 44% of all households in the United States have a dog, and 35% have a cat, according to the American Pet Products Association. Whether your neighbor has firecrackers, or your community is enjoying a big fireworks display, the noise associated with July 4th celebrations can cause your pet to become frantic and run away, trying to find a safe haven.

Animal control officials across the country report a 30% increase in lost pets each year between July 4 and 6. July 5 is one of the busiest days of the year for shelters. Mark Jakubczak, certified pet detective, says, “Sadly, only 14% of lost pets are returned to their owners, according to nationwide statistics.”

Here are his tips for keeping your pets safe:

Keep your pets inside and make sure they can get to their safe spot. Of course, you can help make them feel safe by staying close. Keep your windows closed and your TV on. That helps a little in masking the booms. And act normally. Pets take their cues from us, so don’t let them see you sweat!

I’m not trying to be a Debbie Downer. I plan to enjoy July 4. I will be eating my hot dog and drinking my beer in the shower. That’s my kitten’s safe space. I look forward to the time when fireworks just create oohs and aahs…but not a sound.

Wishing you a safe, happy and quiet July 4th! The chamber will be closed for the holiday, but we’ll return on July 5 to serve you.

Lynne Conlan is Executive Director of the Sun City Center Area Chamber of Commerce. Call her at 813-634-5111, or email