Loud noises and large crowds can be scary for animals, so fireworks aren't really their thing. According to the American Humane Society, the 5th of July is the busiest day of the year for most shelters.
- Get your pets inside well before it gets dark. Even outdoor cats should be brought inside for the night. Make sure they are safe from loud noises and flashes of light while inside.
- If you know that your pets are startled by loud noises, have someone stay at home with them if you end up leaving the house to celebrate the holiday.
- Close up your house - scared animals are great escape artists and will find a way out.
- To lessen the startling boom of fireworks, leave on the TV or radio for background noise.
- Make sure your animals are wearing ID tags and if they're microchipped that the information is up to date.
- Contact a veterinarian before the holiday if you believe your pets should be tranquilized
- If you do lose your pet, don't wait to start looking. Knock on doors, call your local shelter and check Craigslist.
Fireworks aren't the only Fourth of July issue pet owners should consider. Keep an eye on your little guys all day long.
- Don't leave alcoholic beverages where animals can reach them. Pets get drunk too and it's not fun or safe for them.
- Keep matches, lighter fluid, and citronella products out of reach. All contain chemicals that can be dangerous for pets.
- Glow jewelry can be fun for after-dark festivities, but they don't mix well with pets. The luminescent chemicals can cause gastrointestinal irritation and you don't want them eating the plastic tubing and connectors either.
Check out more Fourth of July Safety Tips from the ASPCA.
Editor's note: This story was originally published in 2014 and has been updated.