What you can do to prevent your pup from going missing on the 4th of July

Tips for Keeping Your Pets Safe on the Fourth Of July

Quintessential 4th of July plans often include backyard barbecues, pool parties, and ending the night with a spectacular fireworks show. But for a lot of owners -- 1 in 5 to be exact -- it also involves searching for their beloved dogs.

In a recent press release from the ASPCA, the organization claims, that "nearly one-in-five lost pets first go missing after being scared by the sound of fireworks, thunderstorms or other loud noises." As Dr. Tina Wismer, the medical director of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center points out, owners should be vigilant of their animal's well-being during the holiday season, especially during conditions that could potentially lead to high risk scenarios.

In effort to aid parents who are searching for their pups, the ASPCA has recently developed a free interactive app that maps out a search plan to help owners find their pups quickly and effectively.

Of course, the smartphone add-on isn't the only way you can help keep your dogs (and cats) secure this summer. Huffington Post spoke to animal trainer Nicole Ellis of DogVacay on her expert tips for making sure your pet's Independence Day is first and foremost safe.

1. Before the celebration starts, make sure you take your dog on a nice, long walk. As Ellis notes, the more exercise your furry friend gets, the less anxiously he'll be. The simple rule to live by: "A tired dog is a more relaxed dog."

2. Stick to your normal routine. Your pooch will have to get used to crowds of people and new sounds in their house. So keep things as comfortable for him or her as possible, meaning an impromptu trip to the beach all day is a no-go.

3. Keep calm and carry on. Your dog may freak out over fireworks, but the key is keeping your own emotions in check. Make sure you speak to your pup in a calm manner and most likely your pet will follow suit. And if he does get a little spooked and hides under the bed, don't attempt to push him out of his comfort zone.

4. Be prepared and triple-check your dog's collar. In the worst case scenario, you want your four-legged pal to be easy to identify. To make this as simple as possible, plan ahead and make sure your puppy's tag is easy to read and includes your cell phone number. If not, make sure you make a quick pit-stop to your local pet store and invest in one.

5. Stay at home. Of course you may want to meet up with friends and family, but playing host for the night could prevent you from any heartache. Not only will your pet feel more at ease, but you'll be very aware of exits. Knowing what doors are accessible and keeping a watchful eye on your pooch could be the difference between an terrific night or a terrible one.

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