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Officials urge pet owners to keep animals safe on July 4th The Rundown (July 4 PM Edition) The Rundown (July 4 PM Edition) 02:06

Animal advocacy groups are urging pet owners to look out for their furry friends this Fourth of July to ensure they don't run away and wind up in shelters.

During parties and fireworks shows, pets can get scared and escape from small openings in houses and fenced yards.

Officials said cats and dogs may get injured in traffic or wind up in an animal shelter if they run off.

Best Friend's Animal Society, a national animal welfare organization, has a few tips to keep your furry family members safe.

  1. Make sure you bring your animals inside when fireworks start to go off. Put your pets in a secure room with comforting toys. You could also put on the television or play some music to help drown out the sound from outside
  2. Consider a Thunder Shirt. It applies gentle pressure around a pet's torso and can help with anxiety and stress
  3. If you're going to give them medication, make sure it's prescribed by a veterinarian and pay attention to the dosage
  4. Do not play with things like sparklers around your pet. Not only could they get burned, but they are toxic if ingested
  5. Always keep alcohol and harmful human foods out of reach from your pets

If your pet does escape, quickly post signs in the neighborhood and check local animal shelters nearest to where the animal was last seen with a photo and detailed information about the dog or cat.

IF you have horses, officials say consider moving them indoors if a fireworks display is planned nearby. If horses remain outside, owners should ensure all fences and gates are secure. 

Owners can also play music to help keep pets calm or leave the television on. 

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