8 tips to keep pets safe on the Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is the number one time of year that dogs and pets go missing or become injured due to the stress and anxiety of fireworks and crowds, according to American Kennel Club.

Camp Bow WowNorth America’s largest doggy day care and boarding franchise, is sharing tips from its animal health and behavior expert, Erin Askeland, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA, for keeping pets safe during the holiday.

“It can be hard to anticipate how your pet might react to the stimulation of fireworks and large crowds at parades, community events or even in your own backyard during holiday celebrations,” said Askeland. “It’s heartbreaking when a pet is lost or injured, so pet parents should be mindful of their furry family members when planning holiday weekend events.”

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Askeland suggests the below tips to keep dogs safe and calm during the holiday:

• Don’t take your pet to crowded events, unfamiliar locations or noisy fireworks displays that may cause them to panic.

• Keep pets indoors during peak firework times. Panicked pets may jump on or climb a backyard fence to escape the noise and become lost.

• Make sure your dog has on a collar and ID tags at all times.

• Exercise your dog early in the morning before the crowds and noise begin.

• Put your pet in the quietest room in the house and muffle sound with calming music, white noise, and towels or pillows around the doors and windows. Close blinds and drapes.

• Some dogs may benefit from a thundershirt or anxiety wrap to help alleviate stress.

• Give your pup something to do during the firework shows, such as a long-lasting chew, special treat or interactive toy. Offer this about 5 minutes before a major firework show starts.

• Talk to your vet about calming aids, such as rescue remedy, pheromone diffusers and collars, or even medication that may help a pet stay calm.

While pets still may experience anxiety and overstimulation due to loud fireworks, taking the steps provided will help pets cope with the holiday and ensure they remain safe and at home.