The Fourth of July is a special day full of friends, family, cookouts and of course fireworks. Many pet owners have to worry about how their dog will handle the loud sounds that come with our celebrations. According to the American Kennel Club, the Fourth of July is considered to have the largest number of dog runaways for any single day during the year. But what are our furry friends really scared of and how can we help prevent their anxiety?

“When they have these noise phobias, it’s horrible,’’ said noted veterinarian Marty Becker, who founded an initiative called Fear Free and works with State Farm to spread the word about preventing and alleviating anxiety in pets. “A lot of times these dogs will self-mutilate. I’ve had dogs come in that have run through a plate-glass window. They think they’re going to die, and when you think you’re going to die, you do crazy things.’’

Steps to help ease your dog’s anxiety during your celebration

Keep them away from fireworks or at home

Keeping your dogs away from your loud celebrations will not only help ease their anxiety but can also make your plans simpler by keeping them at home, which will eliminate taking them into large crowds. If you decided to leave them at home or bring them along for the celebrations, remember to create a secure place for your dog.

Don’t Forget their ID

Anytime we go out we always have our IDs on us and the same rules apply for our pets. No matter where your furry friend is, remember to always have a pet tag with updated contact information and/or tracking available if they do run away. Microchipping is the most effective way of tracking your pets if they do get lost and you will have an easier time locating them.

Keep them company

Being with your dog at home is a great way to help avoid situations that put your dog at risk for anxiety. Staying home with a trusted person will help your pet feel comfortable and safe while making for a cozy night in! In case you can’t stay home, consider asking a family member, friend or even hiring a pet sitter to keep your dog company.

Talk to Your Vet

Our pets are family and if your pet is experiencing severe anxiety you may consider scheduling an appointment with your dog’s vet to talk about options to help manage their anxiety.