Fireworks are as American as apple pie, but while you might enjoy the loud booms in the summer sky it's a scary surprise for cats and dogs. News 5 did some digging to see what you can do to comfort your pets.
Chances are you probably jump when you hear a loud thunderclap, but you're able to process what just happened. To most animals the Fourth of July is like a loud thunderstorm, but the bright flashes of color in the sky only make matters worse.
Peanut is just like any other dog, playful and pretty happy, but that changes once Independence Day rolls around. "She is scared to death of fireworks. She gets real nervous and runs," said Peanut's owner Lola Pardue.
While you might enjoy the loud pops, booms, and bangs, Dr. Kate Zimmerman with Tri-County Veterinary Hospital says it's a scary surprise for dogs and cats. "A lot of pets have honest to goodness phobias about noise," she explained. "We don't understand why, they're just there."
Dr. Zimmerman says it's simply dangerous and a bad idea to let your pets outside when fireworks are going off. A fence also won't do much to keep pets close to home if your pet can jump or climb high enough.
"Make sure all your pets have tags on them. [They need] current tags with current information or a micro-chip," added Doctor Zimmerman.
News 5 checked with the SBK Animal Shelter and learned July 5 is the busiest day of the year for most animal shelters since so many cats or dogs go missing.
Even if they're safe and sound inside, watch out for nervous animals. "Cats will rip you to pieces if you try to comfort them. Dogs can bite too if they're sufficiently scared. Best thing is a quiet dark room. Leave them alone, do not put food in there, water only," said Doctor Zimmerman.
She also says there are some medications that help calm pets and most are prescription only. But there's one inspired by Thanksgiving -- "Turkey. It's full of a chemical that naturally makes you a little bit sleepy and some of my clients joke that the dog gets a turkey breast on the night of fourth of July," Dr. Zimmerman explained.
News 5 also learned when it comes to pets and fireworks, injuries are one of the other top concerns since a lot of dogs try and fetch sparklers or firecrackers.