4th of July is a great time to celebrate our nation's independence. Hot weather, swimming pools, cook-outs, apple pie, adult beverages and of course, FIREWORKS!

Although there are laws against fireworks in the city limits, that doesn't stop my neighborhood from celebrating. But as a reminder, not all of God's creatures are created equal. Our pets are not always into the fireworks part of our celebration.

Here are some tips to help out your furry friend from Good Morning America.

  1. Turning on a radio or television can help ease your pet's tension.
  2. Place a cotton ball in their ears while the fireworks are going on. (Good luck with that one and don't forget to take them out!)
  3. Hang out with your pet. That'll give them a better sense of security.
  4. Let your dog out when they need to go to potty but keep them on a leash, so they don't run away from the noise of the fireworks.
  5. Play with your dog inside while the fireworks are going off. Keep them as occupied as you can.
  6. Most importantly, keep them far away from the fireworks show! Remember, your pets rely on you and as long as you are with them, that'll give them the sense of security they may need to get through all the booms and bangs.

According to Nationwide Insurance, more pets are lost over the July 4th holiday than any other day of the year. What’s more, July 5th is one of the busiest days for animal shelters because of pets running away due to fireworks.

But there are things you can do to protect your pets this weekend, and make sure, even if they do run away, you’ll be reunited.

  • Microchip your pet – A collar with an up-to-date ID tag is important but it can be easily removed, so a microchip will give you a much better chance of being reunited with a lost animal.
  • Use your pet ID tag wisely – Don’t waste space with a pet’s name, or your name and address. Instead, put as many phone numbers as you can on an ID, including area codes. You can also add the word Reward, for an incentive to return your animal.
  • Talk to your vet about anti-anxiety meds – There are safe and effective meds to treat noise phobia in pets, make sure to pick some up before the holiday.
  • Keep your pet secure at home – Don’t take your pet out on the fourth, but if you must make sure they are on a leash. Once fireworks begin, bring them inside, pull the drapes so they are safe from the bright lights, and turn on “white noise” to help block out the sound. Music can help too, with classical music known to be calming. There are even playlists out there specifically designed to relax pets.
  • Begin looking for escaped pets right away – Don’t waste any time if your pet escapes. Contact area shelters as soon as they open, and post information in online groups and community forums. Post flyers in your neighborhood, and check sheds, garages and other possible hiding places.
  • Keep looking – Don’t give up hope if they aren’t found right away. Pets can be found weeks and months after being lost.
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