LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – As people set off fireworks during the New Year’s holiday, the Lafayette Animal Shelter and Care Center (LASCC) is urging residents to be mindful of its effects on dogs.

LASCC Supervisor Shelley Delahoussaye said that many dogs run away from home because they feel threatened by the loud noises and flashing lights of fireworks.

“Every year we get calls from pet owners looking for their pets, and we see an increase in the number of dogs brought to the shelter. Some are strays but many are lost pets and sometimes injured,” Delahoussaye said.

Delahoussaye recommends the following tips to keep your pet safe:

  • Avoid taking dogs to fireworks displays.
  • Keep dogs indoors if fireworks are set off in your neighborhood.
  • Dogs should wear an ID tag and make sure microchip information is updated with the correct phone numbers.
  • Exercise them earlier in the day to tire them out.
  • Distract them with a favorite toy or chew.
  • Use ambient white noise like a radio or TV to drown out the noise.
  • Discuss medication options with your vet for anxious dogs.

If your pet does end up missing, pet owners should check the LASCC Lost Pet webpage.