Protecting Your Pets on July 4th

When planning your July 4th celebration, don't forget to plan for your pets.

Many pets, especially dogs, can have negative reactions to fireworks. Most have a fight or flight instinct. If they sense a threat, they will attack the firework and risk severe burns. Other dogs are extremely frightened by the noise and will often injure themselves in an attempt to escape. Newscenter 11 spoke with veterinarian Misty McNeil about how to keep your pup safe on Independence Day.

"A dog or cat, they are kind of like a toddler," McNeil explains. "They don't understand what's going on, and a lot of times they can either be truly afraid of them or they don't realize that fireworks can hurt them."

McNeil recommends knowing where your dog is at all times. Some prefer to be closer to you during alarming noises. If you plan to leave for the evening, ensure your pet is somewhere safe. All outside dogs should have proper identification in case they escape. If your indoor dog has noise phobia, you might want to talk to your vet about prescribing a mild sedative.