Keeping your pets safe on the Fourth of July

FRESNO, Calif.

Plenty of dog owners came to the off leash play area of Woodward Park in Northeast Fresno on Wednesday to let their four-legged friends, and one three-legged one, get some exercise.

This wasn't an ordinary pet play date.

Owners like Bethany and Jeffery Anderson of Fresno let their dogs loose at the park to help keep them calm during a noisy night.

"They get all their energy out. They come home, relax, pass out - that lets us do our thing. They have a good time, playing with other dogs," Bethany Anderson said.

Barney and Lea Wade live near Clovis High School so they and their dogs can hear the fireworks show at the stadium.

One of their four dogs gets especially afraid on the Fourth, so the Wades counter the booming noise of fireworks with the soothing sounds of music.

"Our older one, we know that she is really very afraid of the loud noises," Lea Wade said. "We always put on a lot of music or the TV so kind of loud, so they don't hear as much from the outside."

Providing a calming sound or white noise with music or a fan is one of the ways, animal experts say can help your furry friend be less frightened.

Also, assume your pet will react to fireworks even if they were calm last year. Crate your pet or keep it confined to a room. If your pet must stay outside the home, keep it in a garage with a blanket and water.

Plenty of pets are scared away from home on the fourth and that's why July 5th is the busiest day at the Central California SPCA in Fresno.

Shelter officials say animal owners often come in looking for a pet that never reacted to fireworks before.

"They do things because of the fireworks they would never normally do. One of them is escape their own territory. Another one is break through things they wouldn't normally break through, plate glass windows, fences, create holes or jump fences that they would never have done before," Beth Caffrey of the Central California SPCA said.

But with a little planning, you can help your pet have a happy holiday.

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