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How to help your pets during firework season


With fireworks likely the next several days, how can you keep your furry friend safe?

Stack Veterinary Hospital Associate Veterinarian Kristin Sellar says a key to keeping your dog calm during fireworks is to plan ahead.

"If they are on medications for anxiety, you're giving those medications at least two hours prior to any of this," Sellar said. "Medications will not work once the dog is really anxious."

Sellar also advised having a quiet, dark space in your home your pet can go to if they are feeling anxious.

"Making sure they have a safe place that they can go, that they feel comfortable," Sellar said. "Whether that's a crate or a room in the house that doesn't have a lot of windows or anything. A quiet, dark space is really important for them to be able to get away."

For food motivated dogs, puzzle toys can keep them distracted and act as a positive reinforcement. And if you're able to plan for it, try to take your pet out to the bathroom before fireworks begin.

Troy Waffner, of the central New York SPCA, said the shelter sees an influx of animals around the July 4 holiday because they get scared from loud noises and run off.

"If you have your dog microchipped, or you have the the tag on the caller with your phone number and everything, they don't have to end up in a shelter for a day or two days or three days," Waffner said.

Waffner advises remaining calm with your animal while fireworks go off as they will feed off any nervous energy you exude.