The Fourth of July is one of the busiest times of year for the Laramie Animal Control, and they have some tips for keeping your pets safe this holiday.

Household pets, especially dogs, can be frightened of the commotion and noise brought on by celebrations and fireworks.

Rene Sollars, Animal Control Officer, says there are steps people can take to keep Fido safe over the holiday.

Sollars says the best thing people can do to make sure their pooch doesn’t make a break for it this year is to ensure they have good control over their dogs. She says that having a dog on a leash, maybe even when in a fenced yard, is a good idea. She says this may be necessary around the Fourth of July, because sudden bangs and explosions from fireworks can send a dog jumping a fence or running through a barrier.

She advises that people put dogs in a secure location where they can’t hear outside commotion quite as well. Basements are often a great place to keep pets during the fireworks heavy holiday, because the dirt around the walls can help to muffle outside noises. Turning on the radio, a television or a sound machine can also help. People should make sure all doors and windows are closed and secure so if a dog does try to get outside there are several barriers in place.

Sollars says that people should even double check to make sure their second story windows are secured, as some dogs have been known to make a frantic escape from the second floor.

In addition, Sollars says a great practice is to give the dog a long-lasting puzzle treat for distraction. This means it is a treat that will keep a dog’s attention for a long period of time. It could be a special bone, toy or even putting peanut butter inside a ball. These kinds of things can help keep the dog distracted from what is happening outside. This works best if it is something that the dog doesn’t get on a regular basis. Sollars notes that varying these treats from day-to-day can help the dog to keep interest for longer periods of time throughout each day.

In addition, she has a warning for people using their own fireworks. Dogs can often be confused or have a prey drive kick in when fireworks are moving, making noise, changing colors and sending off sparks. Dogs may try to grab or snap at fireworks out of fear, confusion, or instinct. If fireworks are near, Sollars says it is best to keep the dog secured at home.

Additionally, Sollars says this is a great time to check your dog's collar to ensure it has all the proper tags and that it will not slip off. This will help people to know who to contact if a dog does go missing.

If an animal is lost over the holiday, it is best to check with animal control first.

Those in Laramie can do so by checking the website, calling 721-5385, or by going into the shelter. She adds that they will not be open on Friday the 3rd, but they will be open from noon until 5:30 p.m. on the 4th.

For more information about Laramie Animal Control, visit their website.

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