Each year shelters across the country see a surge of animals that come into shelters on the days surrounding the 4th of July. The biggest thing you can do to keep your pet(s) safe and comfortable is to be prepared. When frightened, a pet may do everything in it’s power to escape the loud, invasive noises caused by fireworks including digging under and jumping over fences. It is important that pet owners know, that pets are not aware of where the loud noises are coming from; they hear the loud booms and feel the need to run away from it. If precaution and pet safety are taken into consideration, the 4th of July is a great time for family get-togethers, and cookouts!

Check out the below tips to help you and your furry family members enjoy the 4th of July festivities more this year:
1. Keep your pets indoors during fireworks, and make sure all doors/windows are shut and locked.
2. Shut the curtains to minimize sound and keep your pet feeling safe.
3. Create a safe and comfortable space for your pet during the fireworks. Try setting up an area in a quieter area in your house away from windows. Make it cozy for them by adding blankets and a few of their favorite toys. Use a crate if that is where your pet feels safe.
4. Turn on the TV or relaxing music to help distract your pets from the loud blasts outside. 
5. Make sure your pet’s Microchip and Collar ID’s are up to date. This is the fastest way to reconnect you and your pet if you are separated.
6. Keep your pet distracted with interactive toys, like a KONG toy filled with peanut butter (and frozen overnight).
7. Try a Thundershirt (or make your own!). Many dog owners swear by the Thundershirt. It is a wraparound vest your dog wears that will help calm them down through gentle pressure. You can even make your own with this DIY version using a scarf or ace bandage!
8. Exercise your pet earlier in the day. Try to take your dog for a nice long walk to tire him/her out well before the firework festivities begin. Getting some energy out can help reduce anxiety and may prevent your pet from getting overly anxious in the evening.
Loud fireworks can be very stressful, disorienting and no fun for some pets. If your pet suffers from anxiety during fireworks displays and you have tried everything from peanut butter kongs, to playing music then maybe a consult with your trusted veterinarian about a mild sedation to help your pet through the holiday might help. Always remember to keep your beloved pet safe and secure inside with his collar and id tag on.