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Do your pets freak out over fireworks? Here are tips to keep them safe this Fourth of July

COMMERCIAL: Edward James Olmos says fireworks displays are no 'blast' for animals

Actor Edward James Olmos and his four-legged friend Moe want you to know that for animals, fireworks aren't festive—they're frightening and sometimes fatal.
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Actor Edward James Olmos and his four-legged friend Moe want you to know that for animals, fireworks aren't festive—they're frightening and sometimes fatal.

Fireworks, picnics and barbecues may be great fun for humans during Fourth of July, but for many of our furry friends it can feel like a nightmare.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, noisy fireworks and other celebrations can startle animals and cause them to run away.

Because of this, July 5 is the busiest day of the year at animal shelters as companion pets that fled the night before are often found miles from their homes, disoriented and exhausted, the American Humane Association reports.

The dangers don't end there.

"Holiday foods can be unhealthy, summer heat and travel can be dangerous, and potentially dangerous debris can end up lying on the ground where pets can eat or play with it," the AVMA says.

That doesn't mean we can't enjoy ourselves, but if you have pets at home, it's a good idea to try to take precautions.

Whether you're planning Fourth of July festivities at home or hitting the road to celebrate, it's important to make sure your pets are safe during and after the holiday.

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Fourth of July celebrations are often dangerous for your pets, so it's important to take extra precautions during the holidays. (Dreamstime/TNS)

Here are some things you can do for your pets in advance:

  • Make sure your pets have ID tags with up-to-date information and that it is properly affixed to their collar. If your pets are microchipped, make sure your contact information is correct.

  • Have a current photo of all your pets, just in case they get loose.

  • Make sure your house is safe and yard secure enough to keep your pet contained in case they get spooked over noisy fireworks.

Pet safety during the celebration:

  • If you're going to a party, fireworks display or parade, try to leave your pets at home. The situations are often frightening for pets, even if they are usually calm otherwise.
  • Consider putting your pets in a safe, escape-proof room or crate.
  • If you are having guests over, make sure they keep an eye on the animals and are aware of where they are when they enter and exit the residence.
  • Keep your pets inside if you or your neighbors are lighting off fireworks.
  • Remember: Too much sun and heat can be severely dangerous for animals, so keep them inside or make sure they have a shady area with water available.
  • If you’re traveling out of town for the holiday, consider leaving your pets at home with a pet sitter or friend, or boarding them in a kennel. If you have to take them with you, take extra precautions to keep them safe.

After the party:

  • Check your yard for fireworks debris before allowing pets outside. Even if you didn’t set off fireworks, debris can make its way into your backyard.

  • If you hosted guests, check both your yard and home for food scraps or other debris that might be dangerous to pets, such as food skewers.

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