How to protect your pet from July 4 fireworks noise

Every Fourth of July, and the day after, animal shelters are inundated with dogs and cats that bolt their homes to flee the boom and flash of fireworks. Many lack identification and never are reunited with their owners.

The best place for pets on Independence Day is inside the house, perhaps with soothing music on the radio or a wildlife program on TV, according to The Sacramento Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The Sacramento city and county animal shelters have websites with tools to help search for lost animals. Proper identification, including a tag or a microchip, will help reunite a lost pet with its owner.

The SPCA and other experts offer the following advice to protect animals during the holiday and beyond:

•  When fireworks displays begin, shield your dog from the loud noises, the

American Kennel Club

advises. Keep your dog in a room where he is comfortable. Block outside sights and sounds by turning on the television and lowering the blinds.

•  Leave pets inside at home when you head out to July Fourth celebrations and other summer events such as concerts and fairs.

•  Never leave pets outdoors. A dog that normally won't leave the yard may, in fear, escape and become lost.

•  Never leave your pet in a parked car during warm weather. The heat can kill them in minutes.

•  Make sure pets have access to fresh, cool water. When they are outside, make sure they have shade.

•  If your pet strays from home, post fliers and ads, and visit animal shelters as soon as possible. At each shelter, provide a photo and description of your pet.

•  If you find a lost pet, take it to the nearest shelter and post notices and ads.

See more tips from Sacramento County Animal Care here.