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Fourth of July top for lost pets; Veterinarian has tips to keep dogs, cats safe

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Ways to help with pet firework anxiety

CLEVELAND - The skies over communities across Ohio will be filled with fireworks over the Fourth of July weekend, but that can be a problem for many pet owners.

According to Pet Finder , this holiday is the number one week for lost pets.

"There will be pets lost and people out there searching for them," said Dr. Frank Krupka of the Avon Lake Animal Clinic in Cleveland. "Dogs can cover so much ground quickly because of the panic, it's like a panic attack."

Linda Thomas knows that all too well. Her golden retriever, Abby, was so scared one Fourth of July that she took off running.

"She just bolted," Thomas said. "She just got out of his hand and we couldn't find her for hours. We were devastated. We've tried for the last three years with the Fourth of July; it's too much for the dogs."

This year, Thomas took her two dogs to the Avon Lake Animal Clinic. Krupka prescribed medication to help keep them calm. The veterinarian said prevention is key.

"If we have them outside, have them on a collar and leash that way they can't get away," Krupka said. "Don't leave pets unattended outdoors where they can climb a fence or go underneath it. If you know your pet is destructive in the house, don't leave it running loose to tear up the house."

Other than medication, there are training products that will help dogs with anxiety according to veterinarians.

Pet Finder advises owners to make sure dogs are wearing up-to-date ID tags and take a current picture of your pet, just in case they go missing. They also suggest walking your dog early in the day, before parties begin, and keep dogs inside during fireworks.

Distracting dogs can help too. Give them a special treat and play soft music to cover up the firework booms.
 

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