Fireworks can be terrifying for your 4-legged family members: “We want to make sure they stay safe”

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MILWAUKEE -- When it comes to the Fourth of July, we celebrate with parades and fireworks displays, but the loud booms can be terrifying for our pets. It's important that we take care to protect them and keep them safe during the Independence Day holiday weekend, and there are thing you can do to lessen their stress.

Our four-legged family members don't get the same enjoyment we do out of the colorful Fourth of July fireworks displays.

"Loud explosions, bright colors, lots of cheering, lots of clapping. Dogs and cats can get very scared," Joe Sinicki with the Wisconsin Humane Society said.

Wisconsin Humane Society

Sinicki, an adoption counselor with the Wisconsin Humane Society said although it may be tempting to take your pets with you as you celebrate Independence Day, or allow them to take part in your outdoor gathering, it's important that you keep them inside.

"We want to make sure they stay very safe," Sinicki said.

Humane Society officials said there's an uptick in lost pets during the Fourth of July holiday weekend -- with pets getting spooked by the loud noises and taking off.

"We do get a lot of animals that come in missing, or MADACC (Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission) will call about a lot of stray animals after the  Fourth of July, so July 5th and 6th, we will get a lot of inquiries about missing animals," Sinicki said.

The key to keeping your pets safe and sound is keeping them inside -- occupied and under control.

"We have Kongs and other toys to keep them busy. Kongs are great because it can keep them busy. You can put peanut butter and chicken broth in them," Sinicki said.

If distractions don't ease your pets anxiety, there are other options, including special clothing like the Thundershirt, therapeutic treatments and medication.

"We have a Thundershirt, which is essentially a shirt that hugs them really tight and makes them feel like they are more comfortable. We also have homeopathic remedies -- lavender drops and pills they can take to calm them down," Sinicki said.

The Fourth of July holiday also serves as a reminder that it's a good idea to make sure your pets are microchipped and wearing a name tag with your contact information on it, just in case they do get startled and take off.

CLICK HERE for more tips on keeping your pets safe during the Fourth of July holiday weekend, including a telephone number if you'd like assistance managing your pets' anxiety.