With Independence Day just around the corner, it is a good time to remember that while fireworks may be a fun celebration for humans, they can cause severe anxiety for pets and can cause them to flee in terror from their homes.

According to the Arizona Animal Welfare League (AAWL), between July 4 and July 6, more pets are lost than any other time of year and local shelters are overwhelmed with the strays entering their doors. However, there are some precautions that residents can take to keep pets safe during the holiday.

First, plan ahead by exercising your pet to reduce their anxiety by the time fireworks start. Research when your neighborhood will have fireworks events and exercise your pet hours before. Walks or a game of fetch isn’t the only way to exercise your pup. You also can plan some brain puzzles for them to help tire them out before night fall.

Second, make sure that pet ID tags and microchips are up to date in case they get separated from you.

Next, create a dark and quiet space for pets to get away from the noise. You can also try to minimize the noise by running a fan, a white noise machine, a TV or radio. Also, talk to your vet about other options or possible medications to help ease pet anxiety.

Finally, keep the pet secure. Pets become lost when they try to escape the loud noise of the fireworks, so it’s important to keep pets inside as much as possible during the Fourth of July. Make sure that gates are secured and there are no holes that pets can get through in the backyard.

It’s also best to keep dogs on a leash when they need to go outside, even in a fenced yard, so they don’t run and hide because of the loud noise. Cats who are allowed to wander outside should be kept inside to keep them safe and secure during the holiday weekend.

Find more tips to keep pets safe and healthy online at www.aawl.org.


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