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How to keep pets safe and happy on Fourth of July

Thursday - 6/30/2011, 9:36am  ET

Tips to keep that tail wagging

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WASHINGTON -- This holiday weekend, keep the family pet happy by leaving the little guy at home.

"It's best that before the fireworks start, take Fluffy or Fido home where it's safe and quiet and you won't risk them either getting away or being frightened," says Besty McFarland with the Humane Society of the United States.

McFarland warns that every year spooked pets take off for the hills once the fireworks start. To avoid losing man's best friend, always keep a collar and identification tag when taking a pet away from home.

Having a microchip implanted could also make traveling easier and less worrisome, she says.

And remember, "don't ever leave them alone in a car" as temperatures can shoot up into the triple digits quickly.

WTOP's Kate Ryan contributed to this report. Follow Kate Ryan and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)