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Pet safety paramount around the Fourth

By Wanda Moore
Published On: Jun 30 2014 10:24:21 PM CDT

NewsChannel 21's Wanda Moore talks to experts on how to keep your pets safe on the 4th of July.

BEND, Ore. -

The Fourth of July means flags, barbecues and, of course, fireworks. Our furry friends are less thrilled about the latter.

"She gets pretty scared," dog owner Rocky Beebe said Monday. "The noises upset her and we just try to keep her in the house and keep her in the bedroom and give her some chew toys and try to keep her calm."

"He barks at the air and looks up at the air. It's definitely stressful for him," said Erik Hostetler. 

One of the biggest worries is that your pet might run away from you and into the street.

"Make sure you leave your pet safely contained at home. Whether that's an interior room like a bathroom or a bedroom, keep sound on like a TV or loud music to drown out fireworks," said Lynne Ouchida, community outreach manager at the Humane Society of Central Oregon.

Ouchida said the Bend shelter has already received many stray animals from the first few fireworks that have been set off already since they went on sale last week.

"Last year we received over 15 animals," she said. "So coming in right away and getting your animal quickly helps us keep kennels free and open for all the rest of the animals that might be coming in."

Here are some other things you can do:

1, Make sure all pets, even indoor cats, are wearing a collar with an identification tag that includes your name and your phone number.

2, Make sure to have your pets indoor as soon as you hear fireworks and in some cases, you might want to think about anti-anxiety medicine. 

"Not something you want to test out on the Fourth. You want to get to your veterinarian now to make sure that the medicine works," Ouchida said. 

You can also buy "thunder jackets: that keep mild anxiety at bay. 

Ouchida also recommended using crates to keep the dog and your apartment safe. The Humane Society of Central Oregon does have crates available for rent and offers free dog ID tags.

With all those precautions, we hope you and your pet have a happy and safe Fourth of July. 

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