Did you know more pets go missing on July 4th and 5th than any other days of the year? The increase in lost pets this time of year has even led to July being named Lost Pet Prevention Month.

Fireworks are a main culprit. Noise-reactive or anxious pets can go into “panic mode” when the booming begins and will do everything they can to escape to quieter surroundings. Even if your pet is not generally fearful of loud noises, it’s best to take precautions. Just one unexpected noise can spook a pet and cause it to bolt. Keep your pets inside, where they can feel safe and comfortable. You can even put on the television or some music to try to drown out some of the outside noises.

Backyard BBQs are another reason for the increase in lost pets. With family and friends coming and going, doors or gates can accidentally be left open and opportunistic pets may head out for an adventure. If your pet is prone to escaping it’s best to keep them in another room and away from the temptation. It’s also a good idea to ask all guests to be mindful of doors and gates.

While the 4th of July holiday may be the most common time for pets to go missing, vigilance is needed year-round. Whistle—makers of a wearable device that tracks your dog’s location and activity—say that 1 in 3 dogs will get lost at some point in its lifetime. Take precautions by fully fencing yards and keeping dogs on leashes when out on a walk.

It’s also important to make sure your furry friend has a collar and tag with your contact information and a microchip with up-to-date info. You can also consider GPS trackers like the ones made by Whistle. All of these things will be helpful if your pet goes missing. If your pet does get lost, take action quickly. PetHub has created a downloadable resource with a checklist of steps you can take.