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How to help pets navigate a noisy Fourth of July weekend

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Fourth of July is a time for celebration, but it can also be stressful for anyone with a pet that doesn’t like fireworks.

Pets can become scared or disoriented by the sound of fireworks. Some animals will try to hide, but others could run away, says Kathy Underwood, the owner of Camp Bow Wow in Lawrence.

“July Fourth is the number one holiday where pets go missing and get injured,” Underwood said. “One of the things you want to do is make sure that all your pets are safe by making sure they have collars on with tags in case they get away.”

There a few things pet owners can do to help calm their furry friends, even before the fireworks begin, according to Underwood.

“Take them for walks early before the festivities start. Tire them out. Keep them inside. Use calming music or something that’s calming. You can even put pillows around your windows and doors to keep the sounds out. Give them chews or interactive toys during fireworks so they’re interested in something else.”

Underwood says pet treats with CBD or calming vests could also help soothe upset pets.

Noisy fireworks displays aren’t the only risk to pets this Fourth of July weekend. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center offers several pet safety tips, including:

  • Don’t apply sunscreen or insect repellent to your pet unless it is specifically labeled for use on animals
  • Don’t leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can reach them
  • Don’t put glow jewelry on pets or allow them to play with it
  • Don’t use fireworks around pets
  • Keep citronella candles and tiki torch oil away from pets
  • Keep matches and lighter fluid out of a pet’s reach