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Here’s how to keep your pet healthy and safe during the Fourth of July

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PHOENIX — This Independence Day, keep both you and your pet healthy and safe by staying home.

The day after the Fourth of July is said to be one of the busiest days for animal shelters. This after a night filled with fireworks creating loud bangs and causing bright flashes of light that often spook animals into running away from their homes.

Tempe-based Lost Our Home Pet Rescue encourages pet owners to stay home with their animals, ensuring that’s the best way to keep them calm during traumatic experiences.

“Not only are you keeping humans healthy, which is of course critically important right now,” Josie Gaieck, a spokeswoman for the pet shelter, said. “You’re really keeping your pet safe at home – when they’re stressed and scared like that, they’re looking for people they love and trust like their owner.”

Although many large-scale events are canceled this year, your neighbors may be letting off fireworks at home and it could scare your pet. Be sure to close windows and make sure all your doors and doggie doors are locked.

In years past, animal shelters around the Valley have hosted gatherings inside their facilities for volunteer to keep animals’ company and distracted during Fourth of July festivities. Due to COVID-19, those events are not happening.

“Pet-proof” your house by placing your furry loved one in a smaller interior room with a TV on and relaxing music. Give your pet a safe space to retreat with their favorite toys, blankets, pillows, and plenty of water.

Another way to try and prepare your dog before fireworks is to get plenty of exercise done during the day before the festivities begin.

In the event your pet does run away, have a current and clear photo of your pet on hand. If they do go missing you will want to be able to quickly post online and create flyers to distribute throughout your neighborhood.

Make sure your pets are registered and your contact information is up-to-date, and that they are wearing visible ID such as collars and tags that display their name and microchip number clearly.

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