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How to calm your dog during Fourth of July fireworks

Many pets get anxiety over loud noises.

OLDSMAR, Fla. — Many people have already heard and seen fireworks in Florida as the Fourth of July draws nearer.

Fireworks will likely start to ramp up this weekend. However, not everyone loves the light and sound show. Dogs often get major anxiety from the loud noises and some even run away out of fear.

Veterinarian Kristi Tipton made a house call to check on a pup with anxiety. That's how MVS Pet Care of Florida works. Vets come to your house to treat your pet.

"I think pets are much more comfortable in their own home setting," Tipton said.

Kim Hilliard has three dogs, but she's a little concerned about 8-year-old Charlie. She rescued him a few months ago.

"During lightning and thunder and that sort of thing, he shakes and gets real nervous and scared," Hilliard said.

With the Independence Day right around the corner, Tipton is getting several calls about anxious dogs afraid of loud noises.

"The day after the Fourth of July is one of the busiest times in shelters and ASPCA's when pets flee from their homes from being scared and anxious," Tipton said.

Tipton likes to try natural remedies first. She showed Hilliard how to put a Thunder Shirt on Charlie.

"The Thundershirt is designed to press pressure points on the dog's body that help to calm it," Tipton said.

Tipton has this advice during times of loud noises like storms or fireworks:

- Keep your dog safe and secure inside your home.

- Try natural remedies like the thunder shirt or calming pheromone sprays first.

- Distract your dog during times of loud noises by playing with their favorite toy.

- If none of that works, there are medications that can be prescribed to calm your dog.

"You do want to make sure you've ruled out any other medical causes of anxiety first... so seeking an appointment with your veterinarian."

Until Charlie gets his anxiety under control, Hilliard knows what to do.

"I hold him, just kind of like I am now and he calms down, but it's scary for him," Hilliard said.

Since dogs with anxiety tend to run away during fireworks or storms, make sure you have them micro-chipped and also keep a current picture so you can find them quicker.

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