How to keep your pet safe and calm on July 4

With dozens of firework shows scheduled to take place across the Bay Area this Independence Day, animal shelters are bracing for an influx of lost pets.

Animal experts are reminding pet owners to take some additional precautions in order to keep their furry friends from running away amid the bangs and booms of fireworks.  

Oakland Animal Services says the day after the 4th of July is the single busiest day for their shelter each year. 

"The calls are, I found a lost dog, I found a stray animal, or I’m missing my dog," said Ann Dunn, director of Oakland Animal Services. "The number of dogs that go missing is really heartbreaking."

Sixty percent of the animals that Oakland Animal Services cares for are strays, and the other 40 percent are lost or unwanted pets.  

Dunn advises pet owners to make sure that a collar is on their pet during the holiday weekend in case they run away.

"A tag with your name and phone number. A microchip is best. That’s the easiest way for us to find a family," said Dunn.

Dunn also advises owners to try to take their dogs on a walk earlier in the day.  

"Go for a long hike, you know really burn some energy." said Dunn. During that walk, she says pet owners should keep an eye out for firework shells which are toxic to animals. Afterwards she says you should bring your kitty or pup indoors for the holiday.

"A dog that’s in the backyard during normal circumstances, if they’re terrified, can jump over the fence," said Dunn.

Dunn suggests putting your pet in a room with places to hide and to cover the windows.

"Keep them in a safe space. A room that’s maybe got a TV or a radio," said Dunn.

Dunn says switching on some soothing white noise will help drown out the fireworks. 

Oakland Animal Services is located at 1101 29th Avenue. If you don't have a pet, Dunn says the shelter is currently extremely full and has cut its adoption fee to $20 dollars.