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Tips to give pets a stress-free 4th of July

July 4, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Remember to make your pets a priority this Fourth of July. They can be especially sensitive to the extreme heat and noise of the holiday.

"Dogs and fireworks just don't work out," said groomer Kaley McAuliffe.

Every year, shelters get flooded with anxiety-ridden dogs that have escaped during fireworks shows. Even the calmest of dogs are known to chew through kennels and even jump out of windows.

"She doesn't like the sound of the fireworks going off, she bolts," said dog owner Karol Gregory. "She kind of goes up under my arm. We don't go out around fireworks. We stay home."

Their ears are ten times more sensitive than ours, so always keep them away from the fireworks. It's a good idea to put them in a separate room that is insulated with a favorite toy or blanket, and keep some background noise on, like a TV.

Many dog owners who still want to go out to celebrate, but don't want to leave their dogs scared at home, are choosing doggy day care.

Camp Bow Wow in Agoura Hills is at capacity with canine guests- twice as many as they normally see. It's a chance for them to socialize, too.

"You never want to force your dog to be comfortable with something, especially fireworks, it's very loud," said Camp Bow Wow Assistant Manager Tim Powarzynski.

It's also a good idea to be prepared. Make sure your dog has an ID tag and is micro-chipped in case it does escape. Don't leave them in the car or outside, and reduce their stress as much as possible.

"Give your dogs lots of love," said McAuliffe. "After all, they're American too."

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