Keeping pets safe during July 4th fireworks

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – An otherwise exciting time for humans can be a severely stressful one for pets. As preparations continue ahead of the Fourth of July festivities, it is important to take a moment and think about our pets.

“More pets run away on the Fourth of July than any other day of the year,” said Young Williams Animal Center CEO Janet Testerman.

When that happens, shelters see an increase in animal intake by 30 percent in the days that follow, and when you take in more than 10,000 animals a year, like YWAC does, Testerman says all pet owners should be mindful.

“First of all, I would really urge pet owners to have their pets microchipped,” said Testerman.

Having your animal(s) microchipped can make reuniting with your furry loved one easier.

Independence Day can be terrifying for some animals, the loud noises and bright lights can send them into a panic but there are things you can do to help.

Testerman says to give them a toy, maybe their favorite treat, anything to keep them occupied while in a comfortable and quiet space if possible. Earlier in the day, try and take your pet outside to play or even just walk with them, try to wear them out so they are more likely to be calm during fireworks time.

“Pets ears are so sensitive and so they really anticipate and hear things long before we do and so it can be very traumatizing to them, it’s very frightening for them,” Testerman said.

According to YWAC, more than 7.5 million animals run away every year. Less than 26 percent of them are reunited with their owners.

In the case your animal manages to get out, Testerman suggests first, visiting your local animal shelter and looking for them, but also be diligent in posting on social media neighborhood groups. The same goes for if you find a lost dog.

For more information on what to do if your pet is lost, visit YWAC.

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