Keeping your pets safe (and at home) this Fourth of July

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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Augusta, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The Fourth of July is always a time of year when pets tend to go missing from their homes. They get cared when fireworks start going off, and they bolt.

This year, we want to help you keep your pets safe and at home by sharing some tips and tricks.

Preparations
First thing's first, make sure your pets have their collars on and all their proper identification on them. If your pet is microchipped, have the information handy. It's also smart to have a clear, up-to-date photo of your pet in case they do get lost. Make sure your ID tags have the correct phone number and address.

Be sure the place your keeping your pet (if you're not with them) is secure, whether it's inside your home, in a backyard with a fence, or in a pasture of some kind.

During the Fireworks
During the celebrations, the American Veterinary Medical Association recommends leaving your pets at home, indoors. Taking them to events with large crowds, noises, and fireworks will likely spook them and create a greater risk of them running off.

If you plan on staying home with your pets, remember to keep handheld fireworks, like sparklers, away from them so they don't get curious and burn themselves. Also, remember not to feed your pet many table scraps that could be harmful to them at barbeques.

Distraction
Dog blog K9 of Mine has several tips for how to calm your dog during loud, scary events like the Fourth of July.

They recommend giving your pet a large bone or a stuffed toy to work on and distract themselves with. They also say to exercise your pet earlier in the day if you have the chance, so they might sleep through the noise.

The blog continues with tips like leaving on the TV or radio, shutting blinds and curtains, and even "desensitizing" them to fireworks by playing firework videos on Youtube

The best thing is always staying at home with your pet, but these alternatives work as well as long as you have your pet secure so they can't run off.

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