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Pet advocates offer tips on how to keep your pet's stress levels low during fireworks shows

Experts offer tips to reduce stress levels for pets during fireworks shows
Experts offer tips to reduce stress levels for pets during fireworks shows 01:57

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- As people prepare to watch fireworks on the Fourth of July, veterinarians say pet owners need to be prepared, too.

CBS2's Lisa Rozner spoke with a doctor on what you can do now.

Williamsburg resident Dennis Lin is preparing to bring his dog, Gigi, to the Macy's show on Monday.

"She's not spooked by fireworks. She's going to be excited with people around, so for her it's just happy. I mean, I hold her because there's a lot of people around," Lin said.

But says more pets go missing on the Fourth of July than any other day of the year because of the noise and the lights. Only 14 percent are returned to their owners.

Dr. Jonathan Jaffe, the medical director of Bond Vet, said there is a common treatment for dogs with anxiety over fireworks.

"We prescribe some sort of sedative/anti-anxiety medication to help them get through this problem. And to do that, you know, we oftentimes give it about two hours before the known stressful event is going to take place, which is usually around sundown," Jaffe said.

To prepare your dog, tips include:

  • Making sure its wearing an ID and has a microchip
  • Getting your dog exercise before sundown
  • Creating a safe space by placing your dog's favorite treats and toys in a room without windows
  • Closing the blinds

"This particular breed is a Japanese shiba inu. I feel like he's kind of like a New Yorker dog at heart, which is great. He's super chill," a Bedford-Stuyvesant resident said.

The heat is another factor, and Rozner found dog owners prepared with lots of water.

"We came out in the evening when it's cooler, so that helps with the heat," one woman said.

"He drank half of this already, so he's been well hydrated. We keep him in air conditioning when we're at home because he has an undercoat right now because he's shedding a little bit," a man added.

At the Meadowlands in New Jersey, fireworks are slated to start at 10 p.m. on Sunday. So if you live nearby and are a pet owner, it's something to keep in mind.

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