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Pets & Pals offers fireworks advice to calm your pets

The Fourth of July is a cause for folks to celebrate by lighting up fireworks.

But for this time of year, those loud exploding noises can be a nightmare for the family pets.

At Pets & Pals, a non-profit, no-kill animal shelter servicing the community for over 20 years, the well-being of dogs, cats and other animals are always a big concern.

“We have people as caretakers on the property,” said Sue Molen, who is the president of Pets & Pals, 12488 S. Harlan Rd., Lathrop. “They’ll monitor (the dogs and cats) in the evening to make sure everything is OK.”

She has helpful tips for pet owners as well.

For starters, Molen encourages them to bring their dog and/or cat inside between now and the even the day after the Fourth.

“Indoors is a safe place for them,” she said, adding that turning on the TV, radio or playing music will also help to serve as a calming white noise.

Since each dog or cat may react differently to the unfamiliar loud noise, Molen notes that owners should keep a close eye on the reaction of the animal.

“Stay home, if you can,” said Molen to pet owners. By doing that, the dog will likely be less fearful and calm knowing that he or she is not alone.

Dogs and cats, in a panic state from the exploding fireworks, may break loose from their yard and flee far from their home while becoming disoriented, she noted.

“The adrenaline is flowing – they might run miles away from home and might not find their way back,” Molen said.

Giving the dog a long walk while keeping him or her active during the day, in this case, could exhaust some of that nervous energy to come.

Other helpful tips include closing all windows and doors to help muffle the loud outdoor noises, putting out blanket to provide a “safe spot” for your dog, or providing the dog with a treat or a favorite toy after a particular loud noise to help him associate that with something positive.

In addition, Molen said that for those coming across a stray dog should check for a microchip, which can be handled by any veterinarian.