Click below to hear KMZU’s Andy Campbell speak with Dr. Kelly Ryan, Director of the Animal Medical Center of Mid-America:

Many families are planning their weekend activities at public firework displays, or in their own backyard. With the excitement of the Fourth of July holiday, the toll the weekend has on family pets is often overlooked.

HumaneSocietyDogsandCats1“Especially when we’re talking about fireworks, a lot of pets just don’t enjoy them the same way people do,” Dr. Kelly Ryan said. Ryan is the Director of the Animal Medical Center of Mid-America for the Humane Society of Missouri. “It can be really stressful having all that noise, and sometimes their instinct, often, is just to run.”

The Humane Society of Missouri is offering pet owners several tips to keep their pets comfortable over the Independence Day weekend. According to Ryan, the number one tip is to keep pets at home.

“Giving them a nice, cool, quiet place to retreat, where the heat and the sounds are a lot less intense,” Ryan explained. “Dogs and cats can be so sensitive to loud noises, so putting them in a basement or an interior room where they still have water and food … those are really the best options.”

Other tips include making sure dogs are wearing a collar with ID tags at all time, keeping the veterinarian’s phone number on hand and avoiding confining animals to small spaces.