Experts give tips to keep dogs safe during Fourth of July

Posted: Updated:
HUNTINGTON -

Fireworks are a major part of the Fourth of July holiday, but they can be very stressful for pets.

The flashing lights and loud booms from fireworks are especially traumatic for many dogs.

"Some dogs have no idea what's going on," says Zach Sideris of Huntington. "They probably think it's Armageddon going on with the fireworks and all that stuff."

Rob DiFebo says his dog Ollie tends to run when he hears fireworks.

"He's a runner. He'll run into traffic and there's a possible chance of losing him so I have to stay vigilant," says DiFebo.

Guide: Fireworks on Long Island 2019 

According to the American Humane Society, July 5 is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters because animals tend to run away in a panic during the fireworks. But experts say there are precautions you can take to keep your pets safe.

"Earlier in the day, it's important to exercise them so they're tired by nighttime when the party gets kind of wild," says Erica Kutzing of Strong Island Animal Rescue League. "A tired animal is a good animal. So you definitely want to tire them out while the sun is up."

Kutzing says you can also give the dog Benadryl, Melatonin or a ThunderShirt.

Experts say to keep ID tags on dogs, with phone numbers on them so if they do get lost, whoever finds them knows who to contact.

Pets also shouldn't be fed people food or alcohol because it can be toxic to animals.

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