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Protect your pet from the fourth of July, a holiday that may make them howl or scowl

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Pabst the Tabby Cat and Banjo the Corgi (Alicia Revelle)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Happy Birthday, America!  238 years is something to bark about!  But the holiday isn’t necessarily fun for all members of the family.  The four-legged members of your family may not do so well with the loud noises.

WHNT NEWS 19 is taking action for them with some reminders of caring for pets over the holiday weekend.

According to those who track pets and how they’re affected by the holiday, more pets go missing around the fourth of july than any other time of year — mostly because of noisy fireworks. quotes national statistics that show a 30-to-60 percent increase in lost pets each year between July 4th and 6th.  And many of them end up euthanized because they can’t be properly identified and returned to their owners.

With that in mind, Huntsville Animal Services has a few suggestions to protect pets amidst all the pops and explosions.

– Don’t leave a pet outdoors during the fourth due to the stress of the fireworks.  There’s a good chance it will try to run off.
– If pets have to be outside, make sure there are no gaps or holes in fences where they could escape.
– If you use a crate indoors, cover it with a sheet and leave the door open to provide a “feel-safe place” for a pet.
– Make sure your pets are wearing identification and license tags, so if they escape from your house or yard, they can be identified and traced back to you.
– And as much as pets may beg, remember that barbecue and other fourth of july foods are for people, not pets!
– Also, horses need a safe and secure shelter providing shade and an escape from noisy fireworks.

Other experts recommend comforting pets with hugging, talking to them in a soothing voice, staying nearby if possible.  You may also be able to drown out the sound of the popping, by playing some music or turning on the TV.

If all else fails, a special treat for them never hurts!