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Fourth of July: Top holiday for pets to get lost

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WASHINGTON (WJLA/ AP) – Flashing lights and loud booms may be exciting for some during the Fourth of July weekend, but for pets, it can be a nightmare.

The unfamiliar noise, rush of bright lights, swarms of people, strange smells and sometimes firework debris falling, can prove to be too much for your beloved pet, sending them leaping over, through or under the fence.

More pets go missing during the Fourth of July weekend than any other time of the year, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

“Every year we see several more pets get loose and run the neighborhoods during the Fourth of July weekend,” Scott Giacoppo, chief of field’s services for Washington Humane Society, told WJLA in an interview.

“We anticipate this will happen and thus, have extra personnel and patrol staffed.”

Giacoppo went on to say that this situation isn’t much different than the reaction you would see with pets and thunder, but with fireworks, it can be nonstop.

Sadly, when pets run away in fear, they cause not only a safety threat for themselves, but also for others. Sometimes, pets run in front of cars, causing major accidents, unexpectedly being struck and killed.

Giacoppo said it is important to keep your pets inside, in a safe and secure location this holiday weekend, but if they are otherwise anxious, it may be worth talking to your vet about alternative solutions.

David Wright, dog trainer in Los Angeles, lists some dos and don’ts to keep your pet(s) safe, and your sanity:


- Get collar IDs and microchips.

- Use a crate or keep animals in a room where they can't flee.

- Crank up music or the television to mask the sound of fireworks.

- Provide water and food: Fear makes dogs pant, and unfamiliar food makes them anxious.

- Offer chewable toys or treats as a distraction.



- Take a pooch to see fireworks unless it's a noise-trained police K-9 or guide dog.

- Leave them outside, where they jump or dig to escape the yard.

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- Approach dogs who look scared because they can attack.

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