Eight Ways to Keep Your Pets Safe on July Fourth

Tomorrow is the Fourth of July. And that means hot dogs, beer, American flags, and fireworks.

It's a glorious time.

Unfortunately, for your pets, it's just another day. Except on this day, things are exploding over and over outside for inexplicable reasons.

While it's all fun and games for us humans, it's a time of stress, anxiety, fear, and confusion for our furry pals.

So please remember that as you're lighting that bottle rocket and looking at the pretty lights.

With this in mind, here are some tips you need to follow to make sure your beloved pet does't have a total freakout throughout the evening:

1. Keep Your Pets Away From Fireworks This might seem to be the most obvious thing but in the frenzy and excitement of the holiday (LONG WEEKEND! FIRE WORKS! WEEEE!) we might forget that the dog or cat is around and start firing up those babies before forgetting to keep our pets in a safe place. Make sure the pets are away from the area where the loud pops and bangs are happening. That is, make sure they're inside. Oh, and don't bring your dog to a fireworks watching area. The crowds and the noise and the lights just raises the risk of them freaking out and maybe even running away.

2. Leave Them WIth Some White Noise If you plan on heading out for the festivities, make sure to leave your pet home with some light ambient noise. Leave the television on a channel you usually watch. Not because so they can watch Seinfeld while you're away, but more so that there's familiarity around them to drown out the outside bangs and explosions. You can also turn on a fan, or even leave some classical music playing. Anything to drown out the scary noises outside.

3. Leave The Closet Doors Ajar Animals want a nice dark cool place to hide when anxiety kicks in. So, if you're having a backyard BBQ or are going out, make sure to leave the closet doors in your home ajar. If your pet is freaked out over the noises, they'll be looking for a place to hide. If not, things can get messy. They can destroy furniture or even go to the bathroom in the middle of the living room. Give them access to a fox hole to hide until the noises subside. Afraid of your shoes being made into a buffet? See numbers 4 and 8 below.

4. Make Sure Their Favorite Toy Is Out Their favorite chew toy or plush will keep em company while you're celebrating our nation's independence.

5. Be Sure Your Pet Has An Updated Collar or ID Your pet is probably safe from ever running away. But, animals are pretty awesome at survival skills. And when anxiety kicks in, and there's no outlet, they find a way. Basically, it's very possible that your dog or cat could find a way to escape your home while in the throes of anxiety. Be it an opening in a window, or leaping over the fence, you'd be amazed at what they can suddenly do when caught up in fear. So, with that in mind, be sure they have an updated ID tag, or have a microchip in place.

6. Secure Your Home See above.

7. Don't Leave Them With Any Comfort Food You might be tempted to leave extra food for your pet to help soothe them. But anxiety mixed with a sudden change in diet can lead to bad things. Namely, diarrhea. A treat might be OK, but anything more than that is asking for trouble.

8. Get Your Dog a ThunderShirt If you're afraid of allowing your dog into the closet (mmmmm delicious shoes everywhere!), and have little options on where they can go to be soothed, consider getting them a ThunderShirt. These bad boys help soothe your dog while making them look like a cop with a bullet proof vest. They slide right onto your dog and are specifically designed to give them a calm, soothing affect when they get agitated.

And, yes, they have ThunderShirts for cats too.

For more tips, hit up the Humane Society website.

Send your story tips to the author, Chris Joseph. Follow Chris Joseph on Twitter

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