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Fireworks and your pet: tips for helping them stay calm and safe

More pets go missing on the Fourth of July than any other day of the year, experts say

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Fourth of July is getting closer and it’s not too early to be talking about firework safety.

Fireworks will soon be lighting up the night sky and while they may be fun for us, for many of our furry friends that isn’t the case. The loud noises can cause stress and anxiety for pets. 

Animal control officials across the country see a 30-60% increase in lost pets each year between July 4 and July 6, according to PetAmberAlert.com.

RELATED: Community members gather for Kittery's annual Independence Day celebration

  1. Leave pets home 
    Make a safe space for your pets. Put them in a spot that’s familiar and comforting for them. You can draw the blinds, add a fan, music, or other white noise to muffle the fireworks.

  2. Keep them busy
    Owners can give pets toys or treats to keep them busy while they're out enjoying the fireworks. Squeaky toys can easily occupy and distract pets from what is happening outside.

  3. Exercise
    It's helpful to get their energy out during the day, so they are tired at night. Hopefully, they will sleep through the festivities.

  4. Get expert help
    If your pet is especially fearful of fireworks you may want to try calming supplements or a ThunderShirt. Vets can also help with additional tips. 

RELATED: Where to watch fireworks this 4th of July in Maine

Allie McCarthy, the Kennebec Valley Humane Society's volunteer manager, said pet owners need to make sure their animals have current identification in case they are outside, hear fireworks, get scared, and run away.

“Owners can update [their pet's] microchip information," McCarthy explained. "Make sure the microchip information for their pets is all up to date with current phone numbers, current addresses. Making sure the tags on your animal collars are readable [is important]... sometimes the tags on collars get worn down and you can’t really read the phone number correctly."

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