The Pryor Times

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July 4, 2014

Keeping your pet safe and sound around fireworks

Pryor Times — Fireworks are no fun for four-legged family members.

Animal shelters county-wide report a spike in missing pets around the Fourth of July holiday.

“The biggest thing to remember with fireworks it to find a place for them inside, even if they aren't typically inside pets,” said Lisa Jewell of Chouteau Pound Pals. “A lot of dogs take refuge in closets or under beds.”

Jewell said when pets get loose during firework displays, they are often disoriented and afraid, making it hard for them to find their way back home.

Both Chouteau Pound Pals and Pryor's Rockin' G Animal Shelter both rescue many of these confused runaways in the days after Independence Day.

“The July Fourth holiday is the worst week of the year for pets. Every year, our reports of missing dogs and cats triple during the days that fireworks are used and we have more dogs picked up and brought to the shelter than any other time,” said Kathy LaValley of Rockin' G Animal Shelter.

In addition to making sure the pet has a valid identification tag, LaValley said it's important to ensure the collar fits properly.

“It is never a good idea to take your dog to a firework display with you,” said LaValley. “Put them in their kennel or a small enclosed room in the interior of the house and close the curtains. Play soothing music just loud enough to drown out the noise from the fireworks.”

LaValley said Rockin' G plays soothing music all day, but during the upcoming holiday they play it all night too.

“If your dog really doesn't deal with the noise well you can go a step further and invest in a Thunder Shirt. Most dogs are very responsive to its calming effect. You can also purchase over-the-counter calming medicine like Rescue Remedy available at most homeopathic stores,” said LaValley.

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