Fourth of July Pet Dangers and Safety Tips

Nation’s Largest Pet Insurer Unveils Most Common Independence Day

Brea, Calif. (June 18,  2015) – It’s time for Americans to celebrate their independence, which means barbeques, pool parties and, of course, fireworks. This Fourth of July, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI), the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance, reminds pet lovers that the keys to a safe celebration are preparation and awareness. To bring attention to the potential dangers surrounding pets on Independence Day, VPI, a Nationwide company, sorted through its database of more than 525,000 insured pets to determine the most common Fourth of July related pet injuries. Below are the results:

Injury/Illness Holiday Related Incident Average Cost for Treatment
Burns Fireworks $173
Heat Stroke Hot Weather $575
Near Drowning Falling in Pool $355
Strangulation Collar Caught on Fence/ Jumping Fence while Tied Up Possibly Caused by Loud Noise of Fireworks $355
Toxicities Eating Chocolate or Table Scraps/ Ingesting Alcohol $449
Laceration Breaking Through Glass Window or Fence $329

VPI encourages pet owners to plan ahead with these safety precautions to ensure that their furry friends are safe during this year’s celebration:

  1. Set up a safe zone that is comfortable for your pet and will help block out noise. Loud noises from fireworks and other festivities can be stressful and terrifying for our pets. If your pet show signs of severe anxiety such as trembling or shaking, sudden urination, pacing or chewing, you may want to consult your veterinarian regarding options. 
  2. Leave out extra water bowls to ensure that your pet is hydrated during the day. It’s common for pet owners to forget how quickly their pets can become overheated in the warm summer weather.
  3. Be aware of foods that could be toxic to your dog. Fatty foods from table scraps, garlic, onions, bones and raw meats can all cause stomach issues. Also, be sure to keep your pet away from any alcohol that could have been spilled.
  4. Never assume your dog knows how to swim. If you are attending a celebration with a pool, be sure that your dog is familiar with the edges of the pool. It your pet is allowed to swim, make sure they’re a comfortable swimmer and show them the steps to climb out of the pool.
  5. Never leave your pets unattended or tied up in the back yard, and always keep proper identification on them. Fear from fireworks could cause pets to run away. Dogs who attempt to jump a fence while tied down could strangle themselves.

The Fourth of July can be fun for us, but incredibly stressful for our pets,” said Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. “With the increase in dangers that surround our pets during this summer holiday, it’s important to be extra cautious. Pet owners should pay close attention to their animals’ physical safety and level of anxiety, generated from all of the irregular activity. Be sure to provide a comfortable place to relax away from the chaos and noise of the celebration.”

Note to editors: For more information on Fourth of July dangers, additional pet health safety tips, or to request an interview with a VPI veterinary specialist, contact Ryan Whittington at

About Veterinary Pet Insurance

With more than 525,000 pets insured nationwide, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co./DVM Insurance Agency (VPI), a Nationwide company, is the first and largest pet health insurance provider in the United States. Since 1982, VPI has helped provide pet owners with peace of mind and is committed to being the trusted choice of America’s pet lovers.

VPI plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. Wellness coverage for routine care is available for an additional premium. Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Additionally, one in three Fortune 500 companies offers VPI Pet Insurance as an employee benefit.

Insurance plans are offered and administered by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company in California and DVM Insurance Agency in all other states. Underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (CA), Brea, CA, an A.M. Best A rated company (2013); National Casualty Company (all other states), Madison, WI, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2014). Veterinary Pet Insurance, VPI and the cat/dog logo are service marks of Veterinary Pet Insurance Company. Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle, and Nationwide Is On Your Side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. ©2015 Veterinary Pet Insurance Company and Nationwide. Pet owners can find VPI Pet Insurance on Facebook or follow @VPI on Twitter. For more information about VPI Pet Insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit

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