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Animal shelters urging pet owners to follow safety precautions ahead of July Fourth holiday

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BATON ROUGE - While many will be celebrating July Fourth, there's some furry friends that will be staying home, and may even hide from the big celebrations.

Friends of the Animals in Baton Rouge are urging pet owners to start preparing to keep your pets comfortable and safe for the holiday. There's about a 30 to 60 percent increase in lost pets every year from July 4th-6th. The loud fireworks are to blame.

"A lot of people talk to their veterinarians ahead of time and there's a lot of different medications they can give a dog ahead of time," said Cindy Berggreen, board president of FOTA. "You don't want to wait till the first firecracker goes off and then try to sedate your dog because that does not work."

Berggreen suggests taking your pets for a walk before it gets dark. It's also important to make sure your pet is comfortable in their own home.

"Find them some treats like a peanut butter Kong to put in their kennel, play a little soft music try to make it a nice time for them but, being inside an enclosed area," Paula Schoen, founder of FOTA, said.

FOTA says owners should make sure their pets are microchipped and have an ID tag on their collar in case they happen to escape.

"A dog can run fast and far if they're scared. It's amazing how'd you find the dogs miles from your home," said Berggreen.

If your pet does happen to run away, it's always best to check local 'Lost Pets' Facebook pages first, then shelters the next day.


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