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How to keep your pets safe during the 4th of July fireworks

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Fireworks can be traumatic – and dangerous – for pets. The loud noises can cause dogs, in particular, to run away. As the Fourth of July celebration approaches, the Idaho Humane Society shares ways to keep our four, three and two legged friends as calm and safe as possible.

Around Independence day, the Idaho Humane Society says it brings about 20% more pets than usual into its shelters. Spokesperson Kristine Schellhaas said keeping pets indoors, in a dark quiet room with ambient noise can help.

“There are some pet sedatives you can try,” she said. “But, I'm not sure how effective they are.”

Owners should also make sure pets cannot escape through an open door, windows or hole in the fence. Schellhaas also recommended owners take steps to make it easier to reunite with lost pets.

“First thing is making sure your pet is microchipped and that your microchip is up to date,” she said. “If you don't have a microchip, you can walk into our veterinary medical center and get a $30 microchip. And there's vet clinics that do microchips all over the Treasure Valley.”

If microchipping isn’t an option, Schellhaas recommends a DIY alternative.

“Just get a Sharpie and make sure your phone number is on your pet's collar. Or even a piece of tape, like duct tape tied around the collar,” she said. “If your neighbor picks up your pet, they can call you very, very quickly.”

Schellhaas added owners who go camping should be extra careful of illegal fireworks that can make dogs run away in the greater outdoors.

“They could end up alongside a canyon or a river and it's really difficult to try to get your pet back once they're running around in the mountains,” she added. “Definitely think about where you are and take a look around and how you can best set your pet up for success.”

This week, the Humane Society is also waiving redemption fees for lost pets who end up at the shelter.

I joined Boise State Public Radio in 2022 as the Canyon County reporter through Report for America, to report on the growing Latino community in Idaho. I am very invested in listening to people’s different perspectives and I am very grateful to those who are willing to share their stories with me. It’s a privilege and I do not take it for granted.

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