By Nicole Nielsen

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Soon enough, fireworks will be blasting off for the Fourth of July holiday which means fun for many, but not for anybody’s pets.

The loud an unexpected sounds can induce anxiety in dogs and cats, triggering their fight or flight response.

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“Fireworks are not something that dogs are used to. They don’t know what it is,” said dog behaviorist Brad Bevill. “More dogs get lost on the fourth of July than any other day of the year.”

When overcome with anxiety, you may notice your pet panting, having dilated pupils, pacing, whining or barking.

“I think as dog owners, we don’t do our job preparing them for Fourth of July,” Bevill said.

He says one thing you can do is prepare your pooch year round by having it hear different sounds at a very low volume.

“Fireworks, gunshots, baby noises, dogs barking, vacuum cleaner any noise you can think of,” he said.

It will help them cope when holiday’s like the Fourth of July come around.

But if you haven’t spent time preparing them, he says on the day of, you should exercise them. Wear them out, mentally and physically so they’re more calm at night.

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“Drain the energy first, put them into a rest state if you want them to rest.”

That will also make it easier to crate them if needed.

But experts say, never leave them in the backyard or take them to firework displays.

Instead, leave them in a calming space at home, closing windows and playing white noise.

But if your dog is especially high anxiety, Fort Worth Veterinarian Dr. Shawn McCorkle says medication may be the right move.

“That can be a game changer for a dog that has severe firework anxiety,” he said.

Either way, experts plead to make sure your pet is microchipped and wearing a tagged collar.

It can make all the difference, if they run away.

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“It can be a matter of life or death if the pet gets away there’s no way to get them back to you, the microchip can be a lifesaver,” McCorkle said.

Nicole Nielsen