Protect your pets this Fourth of July with safety tips from Best Friends Animal Society

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The Fourth of July weekend is a joyous occasion to not only celebrate the nation’s independence, but also a mid-summer gathering of family, friends and fireworks. However the same cannot always be said for our pets.

Many pets, especially dogs, have a fear of fireworks. The flashes of light and explosive sounds can cause extreme anxiety. According to a release from the Best Friends Animal Society, dogs have been known to dig under or jump over fences, break tethers, or even shatter windows in response to their fireworks fears.  

“It’s fairly simple to make your home a tranquil place for your pets on July 4th,” said Erin Katribe, veterinarian and medical director of BFAS. “The last thing you want is an emergency over a holiday, when many veterinary clinics are closed or open only for limited hours.” 

For example, if you know your pets get severely anxious, plan ahead by discussing pharmaceutical options with your veterinarian.  Several medications to treat anxiety in pets are available. 

Best Friends Animal Society offers these additional tips to keep your pets as safe as possible during the holiday:  

  • Bring all pets indoors whenever neighborhood fireworks displays are likely, making sure that any potentially harmful food or alcohol is kept out of reach. 
  • Secure pets in a room, close the widows, draw the curtains, and play loud music or turn on the television to drown out the frightening sounds.  
  • Keep pets away from lit fireworks at all times, including your own backyard, as some will chase after the bright moving objects and are at risk to be burned or blinded in the process.   
  • Many fireworks also contain substances that are toxic if ingested, so be sure to keep unlit fireworks out of reach. 
  • Ensure that pets are wearing current identification tags, and make sure your current contact info is recorded with the vet clinic or shelter that implanted the microchip.  
  • Have a plan in place in case your pet does go missing that includes calling and visiting the local shelter and posting information about your missing pet on platforms such as Nextdoor and Facebook. 

For more information, visit www.bestfriends.org

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