Fourth of July safety tips for pet owners

Keep your cats and dogs in a quiet and escape-proof part of your home.

Chances are your four-legged companion does not share your enthusiasm for Fourth of July activities.

Loud music, earsplitting fireworks, even the citronella candles used to keep mosquitoes at bay can all be terrifying and toxic for dogs and cats.

The ASPCA suggests pet owners keep their dogs inside during the celebrations, in a quiet and “escape-proof” area of your home.

Pooches have been known to bolt from backyard parties when they are scared by the cacophony of party sounds.

Experts say wearing dogs out with a long walk early in the day can also help settle them down before the neighborhood fireworks shows kick off.

Also be careful to keep alcoholic drinks, matches and lighter fluid out of your pet’s reach.

And fight the urge to share table scraps with them. Ingesting certain foods can lead to serious stomach problems for pets.

The American Veterinary Medical Association suggests that owners make sure their pets have identification tags and are microchipped with recent information. This way if they get loose, they have a better chance of being found quickly.

Lisa L. Colangelo