When it comes to the Fourth of July, pets don't tend to like the same things their humans do, so veterinarians and other animal advocates suggest keeping dogs and cats inside during this week's celebrations.
Vets have warned for years that fireworks are frightening to most animals, so it's never a good idea to take dogs to fireworks shows - even smaller displays in the neighborhood.
"They do not want to be out there," said Dr. Marie Lance with Lance Animal Hospital in Gainesville. "The smell of the burning gunpowder is not something that's pleasant to them."
Then, of course, the noise can cause some animals to bolt for safety.
"Unfortunately, on the fifth of July, the shelters are inundated with the pets that have run away, gotten lost because it is a very, very frightening experience for them," Lance said.
In the event your dog or cat does run away, Lance said pet owners need to make sure animals are easily identified. If they are not micro-chipped, then the pet should wear a secure collar with the pet owner's name and phone number on it. Also, keep a recent photo of your pet should you need help locating a runaway.
Even if fireworks aren't part of your plan for the Fourth, Lance said there are other dangers for pets, including food and beverages that can be toxic for animals.
"At adult get-togethers, remember that alcoholic beverages are poisonous to pets," Lance said. "Don't give them table food. Don't leave the barbecued chicken bones on the table. They will get to them, I promise you."
Lance said other products that can be toxic to pets include matches, lighter fluid and bug sprays. She said she's also noticed some pet owners like to place "glow-jewelry" around their pets' necks, but the liquid inside those items is toxic.
"We don't want your pet to wind up in the ER for eating something they shouldn't," Lance said.
For additional Fourth of July Safety tips for your pets, follow this link for information from the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Dr. Marie Lance made her comments on a recent edition of WDUN's Morning Edition with Bill Maine.