If you feel like you are hearing more fireworks this year, you are not alone. People across the country have reported experiencing fireworks earlier and more often than in previous years. The loud noises from fireworks can distress people and pets alike. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (spcaLA) asks the community to consider their neighbors and pets and refrain from setting off fireworks.

Loud fireworks can trigger your pet’s nervous systems and cause fear and anxiety. A frequent response is to run, which is why so many pets become lost and wind up in shelters at this time of year. This triggering effect can also negatively impact people, such as those coping with post traumatic stress or anxiety disorders.

spcaLA recently teamed up with My Safe LA to record a PSA addressing these issues. The PSA reminds that fireworks in Los Angeles are illegal, and can severely impact the community. In addition, there is always the looming threat of fire.

While spcaLA and other organizations urge Angelenos to refrain from lighting fireworks, we know that it is almost certainly inevitable. To prepare your pets best you can, please follow these recommendations.

Microchip & I.D. tags: Dogs and cats should be microchipped and wear current I.D. tags at all times. This is the best way towards a happy reunion if your pet goes missing.

Report lost pets: By law, you MUST report a lost pet to your local animal care services department. Please do this as anyone looking for a lost pet will certainly look there. You can also post lost pets on social media and neighborhood apps. For more recommendations for lost or found pets, visit spcaLA.com.

Keep pets indoors: Leave the family pet at home where they will be safe, secure, and less stressed. Loud noises from fireworks can cause a dog to jump a fence and run away from home or a cat to hide for days. Keeping your pets indoors will keep them out of danger.

Train your dog: Training your dog provides mental stimulation, reduces anxiety and enables you to manage your dog safely. spcaLA currently offers virtual private dog training.

Keep pets comfortable: Create a safe space for your pet in their crate (if crate-trained) or in a cool, well-ventilated room with soothing music playing softly in the background. Include your pet’s favorite toys, a tasty chew, a stuffed frozen Kong, and a pet bed or blanket for comfort. If you can, stay home with your pet.

Refrain from restraint: Never tie-up your dog to keep them from escaping. The loud noises from the fireworks can frighten your pooch making them more likely to attempt to flee. Dogs can seriously injure themselves, or even die, trying to escape.

Educate children: Teach them to not scare or tease pets with firecrackers or sparklers.

Submitted by Ana Bustilloz