BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The 4th of July season is a busy time for animal shelters. Fireworks often send animals into panic-mode because loud noises and bright lights are frightening to an animal rather than celebratory.

As Independence Day approaches, pet owners should take extra precautions to avoid potential hazards and protect their animals’ well-being.

The Maryland SPCA provides the following tips:

  1. Skip the festive block parties and parades with your pets. During the hot summer month of July, high temperatures can dehydrate your pets and blacktop and concrete surfaces can severely burn your pets’ paws.
  2. Pets become frantic and spooked in loud and crowded areas, which can cause them to run away — avoid the urge to bring your pets to the parties and fireworks displays.
  3. Use television or radio sounds to mute the loud noises when you leave your pets at home — it will help them stay calm and comforted.
  4. Should your pet run away, make sure he or she has the proper name tag with your contact information so that they can be reunited with you easily.

Festive foods and hazardous devices can be poisonous to animals. According to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, here are a few ways you can keep your animals away from harm:

  1. Animals can also become intoxicated by alcohol — never leave alcoholic drinks unattended. They could enter into a coma or even death, in severe cases.
  2. Never apply sunscreen or insect repellent products to your pets that is not labeled for animals. Although they might protect your skin, animals might ingest these products, which can result in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy.
  3. Do not keep matches and lighter fluid anywhere near your pets accessibility. They can cause your pets to have breathing problems and skin irritation.
  4. Keep feeding your pets their normal meals — a change in diet can give your pet indigestion and diarrhea. Keep your pets on their normal diet

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