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The importance of pet safety for Independence Day

Keep your pets safe and happy for Independence Day!

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- July 4th is a day full of celebrations, but one that can easily turn tragic. The Kentucky Humane Society is making sure that even our smallest and furriest friends are kept safe for Independence Day. Here are their tips:

- Leave pets at home during firework displays. The noises caused by fireworks can be deafening to animals and can cause them to panic. To help relieve some of that stress, take your pet for a short walk before or after the festivities.

- Keep pets indoors. If leaving your pet at home, take precautions. Close windows and curtains, and make sure that your pet has plenty of food and water. Turning on a radio, television or fan also may help calm your pet. Mild sedatives can be provided by a veterinarian for pets with severe anxiety. Owners who are leaving town for the holiday should consider boarding their pets.

- Make sure all pets wear collars with identification tags at all times, even if the pet only lives indoors. The ID tag should include the owner’s current address and phone number. Microchipping is highly recommended, as collars and tags can be lost.

- Never let pets outside during fireworks. Pets can suffer burns, hearing loss and eye damage if they are too close to any explosion. Even having your dog on a leash may not be enough to keep him safe.

- Distract your nervous pet. If pets show unusual behavior, such as incessant pacing, crying or whining, owners should help distract them through play or another enjoyable pet activity.

- Clean up firework debris before letting pets outside. If pets ingest debris, they can cause serious injury to themselves. Owners should contact their veterinarian immediately if their pets have been exposed to any potentially toxic or poisonous substances.

If you have any questions concerning pet safety, the Kentucky Humane Society has a free Pet Help Line. Call 502-509-4PET or visit their website.