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Leave Fido Out of July 4th Fireworks Celebration

July 1, 2011

RICHMOND, Va. - Including man's best friend in this weekend's July 4th festivities may not be the healthiest choice for your pet. The fireworks and loud noise that accompany most celebrations cause extreme stress for many animals, according to the Humane Society of the United States.

While cats often hide when scared, dogs usually run. Adam Goldfarb, director of the Humane Society's "Pets at Risk" program, says it is common for shelters to see an increase in lost animals after the holiday.

"We recommend leaving your pet at home on July 4th. It's really tempting to bring your pets with you, but the fireworks can be a little too exciting and stressful for our pets."

When pets are left at home, explains Goldfarb, it's important to create a comforting environment for them, since they'll likely hear the noise of fireworks. He says access to favorite treats and bedding can help.

"We recommend leaving them at home. Setting up a nice, quiet room where they can relax, some of their favorite toys, and just make it sort of a nice, quiet area."

Some animals can become destructive when frightened, so make sure a pet's refuge is clear of items that could be destroyed, or cause a danger if chewed or knocked over.

If attending an outdoor venue with your animal, says Goldfarb, don't park your pet in the car. Temperatures can climb inside a vehicle to unsafe levels, even in the evening. As always, make sure pets are wearing identification tags in case they do run away.

Monique Coppola, Public News Service - VA