Pets best left at home during Fourth of July fireworks

WASHINGTON — Some people bring their dogs everywhere, but pet experts say it’s best if four-legged friends skip Independence Day festivities.

If your pet is scared of thunderstorms, they’re also likely to be terrified of fireworks, experts say.

“The safest place for your pet really is to be at home, not in a crowded or noisy place that’s unfamiliar,” said Matt Williams with the Humane Rescue Alliance. “Some people push the envelope a little bit — and we don’t want to see that. We want people to take all the precautions in the world.”

For pets frightened by fireworks, Williams recommends creating a safe place for them. Put their bed in a closet or small room with the curtains drawn and turn on the TV or radio for white noise. If there is a chance of neighborhood fireworks, be mindful when opening and closing outside doors.

“They get stressed out and run and that’s the last thing we want,” Williams said.

If pets get loose, Williams said people should contact local animal control authorities to report a missing animal. Make sure ID tags and/or microchips have current contact information.

WTOP’s Dick Uliano contributed to this report.

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