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How to keep pets safe during 4th of July fireworks

Nearly 1 in 5 lost pets goes missing after being scared by loud noises like fireworks and thunderstorms, as revealed in a survey by the ASPCA.

DALLAS — Editor's note: The video above is from a previous story.

Fireworks are fun for us, but not for many of our furry friends. Dallas Animal Services is trying to find all pets a safe space to spend the holidays with their "Home for the 4th" campaign.

They are also trying to warn the public about the increase of lost pets that run away from homes because they get scared from the fireworks and other loud noises. 4th of July is the day were most pets get lost.

DAS Interim Director, MeLissa Webber said she wanted to alert pet owners to not become part of the statistics of pets running away.

She said they are already full, so "this increase comes at a particularly challenging time and could force our staff to make difficult decisions in the coming days."

"One of the most important thing residents can do to prevent a capacity crisis at DAS is to ensure their pet is safe and secure at home and isn’t adding to the problem," she added.

So, even if you think your pet would never run off, here are some tips to keep them safe.

Do NOT bring pets to firework shows

Animals are more sensitive to loud noises, flashing lights and strong smells from fireworks. The American Humane Society says nearly half of all dogs experience noise aversion or phobias. They do not enjoy the firework displays as humans do.

Find a safe place to keep them during the fireworks

Look for a cozy and safe place in the house they can stay at. Close all windows, curtains, blinds, and anything that would they could escape through. Keep them busy with food, music, their favorite toys, and anything you think might calm them.

  • Pro-tip: Practice before the holidays. Make your pet stay in the safe place days before the 4th of July weekend to get them used to it.

Make sure your pet has an ID

Even if they are inside the house, they should have their collar ID. They should be microchipped, too. You can make your microchipping appointment for $10 at DAS here.

Turn on the TV or put music on

The best way to help keep pets relaxed is to distract them with other sounds, so turning the TV on can help them.

Some experts also suggest putting videos of fireworks in days before the event to make them used to them.

If you have fireworks, keep pets away

The smell will attract them to the fireworks, matches or even open fires. Pets might also try to eat them, and pet hair could catch fire. 

Play games with them

Distract them during the fireworks show. Give them toys and find activities to entertain them.

Keep them leashed at all times

In case you do decide to go out with them, you never know how they will react to fireworks, so keep them under your control at all times.

Tire them out before the fireworks start

Take them for a walk, give them a good meal, make them play for a while before the fireworks begin, so most of their energy will be drained.

Ask your veterinarian for help

Reach out to your veterinarian if your pet is scared - they can help you find ways to calm them or even prescribe medicine for them.

Be there with them

There's nothing better for them than to be with their guardian.

Report illegal fireworks

Use non-emergency lines to report illegal fireworks or gunfire. You can find ways to report them here.

RELATED: Amid 911 center shortages, city officials urge using non-emergency lines to report illegal fireworks on Fourth of July weekend

In addition to offering solutions to keeping pets safe during the fireworks, the Dallas Animal Shelter is offering free adoptions online and in-person for the whole weekend to find pets a safe home during the 4th of July celebrations. 

You can adopt a pet in-person this weekend at two locations: 

  • DAS’ Main Shelter: 1818 North block of Westmoreland Road, Dallas.
  • DAS’ North Dallas PetSmart Everyday Adoption Center (EAC): 16821 North Coit Road, Dallas.

Online foster applications can be found at BeDallas90.org with options for curbside pet pick-up.

Pets are spayed/neutered, microchipped and current on vaccinations. Adopters receive a voucher for a free vet visit and month of pet insurance. 

If you can't adopt just yet, DAS is also in need of short-term foster home for pets, especially for medium and large dogs and orphaned kittens.

Interim Director Webber said that “fostering a pet for even a few days will open a kennel at the shelter and save lives.”