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Keeping pets safe for the 4th of July

A Boise veterinarian says the 4th of July is one of the most stressful days of the year for pets.

BOISE, Idaho — It’s that time of year when we gather to enjoy colorful fireworks and patriotic music. It’s exciting for many people of all ages, but for our four-legged friends, it's frightening.

Tad Squires with Hendricks Veterinary Hospital says, "Some dogs have high anxiety, sometimes they will start tearing up owners' houses. They can injure themselves. If they are in a crate, we'll get dogs chewing on the crate and they can injure themselves that way. A rare one, dogs jump out of a window.”

Squires says dogs can experience anxiety a couple of different ways like panting or pacing. He encourages pet owners to contact their vet ahead of time to stay prepared.

"The most common mistake clients is wait too long before they get some kind of medication to help with their patience and firework anxiety,” he said.

Aside from medication, Squires said comforting your pet before fireworks start popping can also be helpful.

"Maybe turning up some music or turning up your tv to try to drown out the sound of the fireworks. If they are around you and acting anxious, I think it's perfectly fine to soothe them and comfort them, maybe give them a treat to help distract them a little bit,” he said.

RELATED: Independence Day 2022 celebrations in, near southwestern Idaho

Fourth of July events traditionally bring out large crowds. Squires says that can create more anxiety for pets.

"It depends on the dog. Some dogs do great in crowds and with other pets, and (others) not so well. That's owners being aware how they're doing in those situations,” Squires said.

Also, Squires says, be mindful of what your pet eats during the holiday season.

"Overall, everything in a small amount is okay. Certain things I would avoid are fruits like grapes. I'd say greasy foods -- I would say avoid that because it can cause some upset,” Squires said.

Veggies are a great alternative, Squires said, adding that staying prepared is key to keeping your pet safe this holiday weekend.

"Think today 'oh yeah, my dog needs something to help with his anxiety with fireworks’,” he said.

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