Prepare your pets for the Fourth and fireworks.

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July 5th is the busiest day for animal shelters due to dogs getting loose because of fear of fireworks.

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) Who doesn’t love a dazzling firework display on the Fourth of July? The answer is pets.

Most animals are frightened when the loud booms and pops go off as the sun goes down. The high-pitched noise can be piercing to the ears of some animals, which causes anxiety, nervousness, and fear.

The day after July 4th is one of the busiest days for animal shelters across the country, as dogs break their restraints and flee their homes due to fireworks displays frightening them. Since fireworks are not a usual activity or sound, the loud noises and flashes of light can catch your pet off guard.

Here are a few tips from the Louisiana SPCA on how to prepare for the Fourth of July fireworks and to keep your pet safe and calm:

  1. If you live near the location of a fireworks display, leave your pet inside and try using a white noise machine or playing soft music to help calm your pet and block the sounds of the fireworks. If your pet is particularly fearful of fireworks make every effort to stay inside with them.
  2. Be proactive and exercise your dog before the fireworks commence. A tired dog is less anxious.
  3. Be sure all pets, including indoor cats, wear current ID tags. Consider microchipping your pet if they are not already.
  4. You can also stuff a Kong or other work-to-eat toy with special treats for your dog to work on during the fireworks. This can also help your pet associate the scary noises with good things. 
  5. Do not punish your pet during times of stress as this can only make the problem worse. It is perfectly acceptable, and advisable, to comfort your pet when they are fearful.
  6. If it is absolutely necessary to be outside with dogs during fireworks displays, ensure each dog is secure on a leash or harness.
  7. Make sure outside dogs are secure in the yard, all gates are locked along with possible holes closed.

To report a lost pet, the Louisiana SPCA encourages you to fill out an online lost report at www.louisianaspca.org/lost.

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