July 4th is a happy time of year for most Americans. However, man's best friend is terrified of the loud celebrations, and sadly their reaction could lead to a lost family member.

According to an interview with the Associated Press, Kate Hurley of the University of California Center For Companion Animal Health, says shelters are "absolutely chock-full of terrified dogs on the day after the Fourth of July." When she was an animal-control officer, she saw dogs "jump through plate-glass windows, they were so freaked out. Cats don't seem to make an issue of fireworks.  However loud, crowded public fireworks displays are hazardous for pets." Therefore, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals advises pet owners to stay home.

How to keep your pet safe and comfortable on the Fourth Of July (Compliments of Care2.com)

1. Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise earlier in the day.

2. Keep your dogs inside during fireworks, preferably with human companionship. If it’s hot, air conditioning will help. Bringing your dogs to a fireworks display is never a good idea.

3. Provide a safe place inside for your dogs to retreat. When scared of sounds they can’t orient, dogs often prefer small enclosed areas.  If your dog is comfortable in a crate, that is a good option.

4. Keep the curtains closed, and if possible, also the windows.

5. Make sure all your dogs are wearing ID tags with a properly fitting collar. (Dogs have been known to become Houdini around the 4th of July.)

6. Leave your dog something fun to do – like a frozen Kong filled with his favorite treats.

7. Sound Therapy: The program 'Through a Dog’s Ear' is specially designed classical music clinically demonstrated to calm canine anxiety issues. The 'Calm your Canine' series has even replaced drugs for thousands of dogs on July 4th.

8. Desensitization combined with Sound Therapy: The 'Canine Noise Phobia' series includes the above mentioned music along with progressive sounds of fireworks and positive reinforcement training protocol by Victoria Stilwell.

Courtesy of Care2.com '8 Dog Safety Tips For The Fourth of July'