Fourth of July Pet Dangers and Safety Tips

Independence Day is right around the corner, which means barbeques, pool parties and of course, fireworks. This Fourth of July, Nationwide®, the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance, reminds pet owners that preparation and awareness are the keys to a pet-safe celebration.

To bring attention to the potential dangers surrounding pets during Independence Day celebrations, Nationwide sorted through its database of more than 600,000 insured pets to determine the most common Fourth of July-related pet injuries. Below are the results:


Holiday Related Incident

Average Cost for Treatment


Breaking Through

Window or Fence



Eating Chocolate or Table Scraps/ Ingesting Alcohol


Blunt Trauma

Off-Leash Accident


Heat Stroke

Hot Weather





Near Drowning

Falling in Pool/Unable to Swim














Nationwide encourages pet owners to consider these safety precautions to ensure that their furry family members 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 pets. If your pet suffers from severe anxiety (trembling or shaking, sudden urination, pacing or frantic chewing), consult your veterinarian before the holiday regarding treatment 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 can be toxic to your dog. Fatty foods from table scraps, garlic, onions, bones, candy and products sweetened with Xylitol (such as sugarless gum) can all cause stomach issues. Also, be sure to keep your pet away from any alcohol that may have 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, show them the steps to climb out of the pool, and do not leave them unattended.
  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.

“The Fourth of July is a fun-filled holiday, but it can be incredibly stressful and dangerous for pets,” said Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for Nationwide. “Pet owners should pay close attention to their animals’ level of anxiety generated from the irregular activity. Providing pets with a comfortable place away from the chaos and noise of the celebration can help keep them relaxed and safe.”

About Nationwide pet insurance

With more than 600,000 insured pets, pet insurance from Nationwide, formerly known as Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), is the first and largest pet health insurance provider in the United States. Since 1982, Nationwide has helped provide pet owners with peace of mind and is committed to being the trusted choice of America’s pet lovers. Nationwide plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Additionally, nearly half of all Fortune 500 companies offer Nationwide 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 (2016); National Casualty Company (all other states), Columbus, OH, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2016). Pet owners can find Nationwide pet insurance on Facebook or follow on Twitter. For more information about Nationwide pet insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit


About Nationwide

Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, commercial, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; banking and mortgages; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit

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