To humans, fireworks displays can be awe-inspiring, but for pets they can be downright traumatic.
In fact, more pets run away due to fireworks than for any other reason, according to PetAmberAlert, and there is a 30% increase in lost pets each year between July 4 and 6.
Keeping them contained isn't always the answer. The Humane Society says some dogs have become so frightened they leapt an outdoor fence and indoor ones have crashed through windows and screen doors to escape.
This Independence Day there are some things you can do to help keep your pets calm and prevent them from bolting.
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Minimize the noiseIf you are providing the fireworks, choose the "silent" or "quiet" types. Bring pets indoors and close all the windows and doors to help muffle the sound. Have competing noise to help drown out the pops like a sound machine, the TV or music.
Provide distractionsThis is a great time for a new toy or bone. Or, it can be an opportunity for play time or cuddling with the family.
Create calmIf your pet is particularly skittish with loud noises, you may consider other ways to calm them. Your veterinarian may be able to provide medication, or there are many pet-friendly CBD products on the market that may help.
Prevent ways of escapeIf you have a pet crate this may be the safest place for furry loved ones. You can create a cozy nest for them and throw a blanket over the top to help deaden the noise. If you are planning to be outside with them, make sure they are on a leash.
Get taggedBefore July 4th make sure your pet has an ID tag on their collar and are microchipped in case of escape. The Independence Day season is when pet shelters usually see their busiest time of year.
Fireworks can also be harmful to birds which sometimes leave their nest and never come back due to being frightened or suffer respiratory distress from the ozone, sulfur dioxide and nitric oxide that can linger in the air. Some wild animals mistake used firework casings on the ground for food which can be toxic or a choking hazard.
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So, you may want to be mindful of how fireworks could impact nearby animals.
Contact reporter April Barton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-660-1854. Follow her on Twitter @aprildbarton.
This article originally appeared on Burlington Free Press: Pets and fireworks: Tips for keeping dogs and other animals calm