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Six simple tips to help keep your four-legged family members safe on the 4th

Those fireworks we all love can be a nightmare for pets that get stressed out by the loud noises. They might even try to run away to escape the noise.

HOUSTON — Beautiful fireworks will light up the sky on the Fourth of July but the loud, booming sounds can be downright ugly for sensitive animals. 

Like thunder, fireworks can trigger stress in pets that suffer from anxiety. They may even run away to try and escape the noise. 

Editor's note: The video above originally aired in 2019

The Houston SPCA’s Chief Veterinarian Dr. Roberta Westbrook wants pet owners to avoid this tragedy with these six simple reminders. 

1. Check your pet's chip and ID tag for updated information in case they disappear. Now is the perfect time to ensure your pet’s microchip and ID tag information is accurate. Be sure you update your current phone number. The Houston SPCA reunites around 300 pets annually with an updated microchip.

2. It’s Hot! If your four-legged family member spends time outdoors, make sure they have plenty of fresh water and shade. 

3. If your pet is a licker, keep adult beverages, sunscreen and citronella candles away from canines and felines as they are toxic to pets. 

4. Keep them away from the grill. Dogs, in particular, might be tempted by the smell of those yummy goodies you're cooking up. Foods that can cause choking, especially in small dogs, including chicken bones and corn on the cob. Chocolate, avocado and alcohol can also be toxic for dogs and cats. 

5. Look Before You Pop. Be mindful of your pets when they are running near fire pits, sparklers and fireworks. 

6. Keep an eye on your animals when fireworks are nearby. A scared or nervous pet might slip out the door or even jump the fence. Consider putting him or her in a kennel or quiet room if you have guests over. 

Keep pets distracted during the fireworks. The best way to help anxious pets get through a night of fireworks is to distract them. Tire them out with active play or an early morning walk; turn your television or radio on low to help drown out the fireworks and offer special treats or food puzzles to help keep them busy.

Credit: Houston SPCA


Don’t have a pet? There are plenty of adorable animals at the Houston SPCA Adoption Center and they'll be open on July 4 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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