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Busiest time of year for shelters: What to do if your pets suffer anxiety due to fireworks

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MOLINE, Illinois — Veterinarians say this time of year is very stressful for pets. The Fourth of July weekend can bring on anxiety with all that noise from fireworks.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) suggests keeping your pets home for the fireworks.

“Keep them in a quiet environment. If they do well in a kennel, you’re encouraged to kennel them at home,” said Dr. Jeremy Hoyt, Veterinarian at City Line Veterinary Center in Moline.

If you must take your pets along as you head out on America’s birthday, you may want to consider medication to curb their anxiety over the cracks of fireworks.

“There are medications that can be provided by your veterinarian to help counteract the effects of anxiety,” said Dr. Hoyt.

He is referring to Sileo, an oral gel medication used to calm dogs during noisy events. Sileo was released in May 2016 by Zoetis, Inc., the world’s largest producer of medicine and vaccinations for pets and livestock.

Dr. Hoyt said most pet owners know if their pets have anxiety. The signs of anxiety include scratching at the door, tearing up their kennel, barking and whimpering when left alone, and jumping at loud noises.

City Line Veterinary Center sees an increase patients requesting some sort of medication this time of year.

The clinic’s tips to keep your pets safe on this Fourth of July include:

  1. Be sure your pet is wearing an up-to-date and visible ID tag on his or her collar at all times
  2. Take a current photo of your dog, just in case
  3. Exercise your dog early in the day before parties begin
  4. Keep charcoal, fireworks, sparklers and glow sticks far from curious canines
  5. Leave your dog a frozen stuffed treat during fireworks
  6. If your dog is afraid of loud noises, leave gentle music playing to cover the fireworks

The Fourth of July is the busiest time of year for animal shelters.