Many of us have outdoor plans for the 4th of July. Backyard barbeques or maybe a day at the beach. No Independence Day celebration is complete without enjoying some fireworks. While your are planning your day, take a moment to consider your pets.

Unlike people, pets don't associate noise, flashes and the burning smell of gun powder much of a celebration. Pets are terrified of fireworks, and often panic at the loud noises and sounds.

The American Humane Association reports that July 5th is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters! Why? The day after the 4th of July are inundated with pets that panicked at the noise of firecrackers and fled into the night, winding up lost, injured or, dare I even say it, killed!

Both the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and PAW have listed ways you can prevent your holiday celebration from turning into tragedy. Here are some of their tips:

1. Keep Your Pet Indoors at All Times!

Even if your pet is used to being outside, the resulting panic caused by fireworks or other loud noises may make them break their restraint or jump a fence in a terrified attempt to find safety. Don't leave your pet in the backyard or chained up while you go celebrate. If you can't put them in the house, leave them in the garage (if it's cool enough).

2. Going to a Fireworks Display? Leave Your Pet at Home

The safest place for your pet is at home, not in a crowded, unfamiliar and noisy place. The combination of too many people and loud fireworks could make your pet freak out and desperately seek shelter. Locking them in the car is also not an option; your pet may suffer brain damage and heat stroke. (NEVER leave your pet in a locked car on a hot day!)

3. Have Your Pet Properly Identified

If your pet manages to break loose and become lost, without proper identification it will be that much harder to get them back. Consider fitting your pet with a microchip identification, ID tags with their name and your phone number, or both. It is also a good idea to have a recent picture of your pets in case you have to put up signs.

4. Don't Put Insect Repellent On Your Pet!

Unless it is specifically for pet use.  I found a spray at the Lawton Co-Op called Flys-Off (Insect Repellent for Dogs). It keeps the flies , gnats and mosquitoes away from your dog. A 6 ounce aerosol can of it was $6.99 and you don't need much.

5. Citronella Insect Control Products Harm Pets Too

Oils, candles, insect coils and other citronella-based repellents are irritating toxins to pets, according to the ASPCA. The result of inhalation can cause severe respitory illnesses such as pneumonia, and ingestion can harm your pet's nervous system.

The safest and best bet for celebrating the Fourth of July with your pets is to exclude them from your celebration (at least this time). Find a safe, secure spot in your home for your pets while you go out and enjoy the bright lights and loud booms. Your pet will appreciate your nice quiet and safe home!

Tooter and Rowdy will be staying right where they are at!

Happy 4th of July from The Mace Place!