What has become a fun way to celebrate the Fourth of July is anything but fun for our four-legged friends.
Veterinarians say dogs are hypersensitive to noise and the booming sound of fireworks actually makes some dogs think they're going to die.
"Dogs can hear frequencies that people can't hear. Certainly, the noise is unexpected and you can't explain to a dog why the fireworks are there, what the noise means," said Dr. Michael Bernstein.
Bernstein is the medical director at VCA South Shore Animal Hospital in Weymouth. He says the best thing to do is hold your dog tight.
"Do whatever you can to calm them, hold them, snuggle with them. That will help to some degree. There are some dogs that are just inconsolable," said Bernstein.
In more serious cases, dogs may try to escape the noise, which can lead to destructive or self-harming behaviors, like jumping through windows.
"Certainly keep them in an area where they can't hurt themselves by trying to jump out of a window or something like that," said Bernstein.
Boston 25 News also spoke to dog owners at Millennium Park in West Roxbury to see if anyone had any tricks up their sleeve.
Katie Cunningham braces herself every Fourth of July. Her dog Brady is 14.
"We'll be turning on white sound machines and just to sort of drown out the sound as much as we can. We have a thundershirt we usually put on him to just to wrap him. It makes him feel a little less anxious," she said. "Usually if he has a bone or something to distract him, that keeps him a little occupied as well, so we try to give him treats."
Kelly Henrickson tells us Rufus actually gets stress colitis and an end up at the vet.
"Unfortunately, his anxiety around fireworks actually has us stay home during all the events. We make our own little party at home. Sometimes we end up hiding behind the toilet or in the bathtub, but still a party," said Henrickson.
Bernstein told us medication is also an option. There are a number of different drugs a vet can prescribe to try and help ease your pet's anxiety.
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