PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Fourth of July fireworks can be fun and exciting, but they can also cause your pets to panic.

Many pets can’t quite handle the noise, which causes them to panic, shake and hide.

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“A lot of these pets don’t like thunderstorms and so they get very scared. They get very, very stressed out and some of them get so scared that they’ll just take off,” Animal General’s Dr. Mike Hutchinson said.

Dr. Hutchinson said it happens every year. Even with a fenced in yard, dogs will bolt.

He suggests that your pet has identification in case that happens.

“A collar is good, a chip is even better. God forbid they do get away, we want to be able to get them back and reunite them,” Dr. Hutchinson said.

When it comes to making your nervous pet as comfortable as possible, consider leaving them at home rather than taking them to cookouts, parades and firework displays.

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At home, keep them in the center of the house, close the curtains, and turn on some music.

“Keep comfortable, if you have a pen for them or a crate, maybe put them in the pen or the crate, but otherwise just put them where they will be out of harm’s way, where they won’t destroy things if they get stressed out. I think most pet owners know if their pet gets really stressed when they hear those loud noises, so just do the normal things that you would do,” he said.

Other things to keep in mind this holiday – at parties, make sure to keep food out of your pet’s reach.

“When we get strangers around or extended family, they think it’s OK to give those treats and if they contain sugar free sweeteners, a lot of the icings on cakes now contain them, we have to be very careful because that is a poison for our dogs,” Dr. Hutchinson said.

Also be careful about how long your pet is outside in the heat.

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