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Helping your pets through 4th of July fireworks

More pets go missing July 4-6 than any other time of year.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — Ruff Start Rescue is a Non-profit Twin-Cities Foster-based rescue that has saved nearly 17,000 animals since 2010! 

With the 4th of July holiday almost here, Ruff Start Rescue wanted to arm pet owners with ways to help pets cope during 4th of July firework displays, which often cause fear and anxiety among a host of other issues. 

Here are some tips from Ruff Start Rescue Executive Director Azure Davis, who stopped at the KARE 11 Saturday studio.

 1. Make Sure Your Pet has Proper ID

Does your pet have proper ID if he happens to get out and go missing during fireworks? If  your pet has a microchip, make sure the information is up to date. A microchip is a great option for instances like this when pets pull out of collars out of fear.

2. Prepare Your Pet

Pull up a fireworks recording and start playing it for your pet while the animal is calm. Gradually turn up the volume and while it’s playing, engage in fun activities with your pet AND even give out treats. The idea is to build a positive association with fireworks sounds.

3. Create a Safe Haven

Do not bring your pet to a fireworks show. This is a main reason more pets go missing on the 4th than any other time of year. Instead, find a spot in your home that is familiar and comforting to your pet. Add soft bedding, toys and treats. Also, draw the blinds, leave the lights on and add a fan, music or other white noise to muffle the fireworks.

4. Get Expert Help

Sometimes nothing you do can help comfort a pet from the loud booms of 4th of July fireworks. If your pet gets severely destressed, your vet may prescribe anti-anxiety medication. We have also found some over-the-counter options that provide relief including:

CBD Oils, known to reduce anxiety in pets

Plug-In Diffusers that release a drug-free vapor that mimics the natural soothing pheromones and reduces anxiety

Calming Vests or anxiety wraps are vest-like garments designed to calm anxious dogs. The vests work under the theory that pressure applied to the dog's torso causes a calming effect.

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