How to keep pets safe during New Year’s Eve celebrations, fireworks

TAMPA, FL (WFLA) – Hillsborough County’s Pet Resource Center reminds about pet safety during the upcoming holiday.

Many pets are afraid of fireworks and might run away or even get injured, the center said. Together with the county animal shelter and The First Place for Pets the center staffers put together a list of helpful pet safety tips for New Year’s Eve.

  • Leave pets at home and safely indoors during fireworks displays and celebrations
  • Feed and walk dogs early, before fireworks begin, then settle in for the evening
  • Provide a “safe room” complete with a water bowl, familiar background radio/TV noise, and escape-proof ventilation (no open windows).
  • Never leave pets outdoors, tied in yards, or alone inside vehicles (even with the windows cracked)
  • Take cats indoors to safeguard against the dangers of alternate sheltering (like under engine hoods)
  • Keep County tags and other identification secured on pets during this busy holiday and travel period
  • Never leave children alone with (or to supervise) dogs
  • Never punish pets for unusual and often involuntary behaviors caused by stress (chewing, panting, whining, and clinginess are common)
  • Ask your veterinarian in advance about measures to calm your pet if needed
  • If pets do go missing, search early, often, and in-person at the County shelter

RELATED: Fireworks safety for New Year’s Eve celebrations

For more information on pet safety, lost pet search, pet license tags or adoptions, you can contact Hillsborough County’s Pet Resource Center at (813) 744-5660 or visit

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