CLEVELAND — July 4th comes around every year, but for our dogs and cats it might still feel like a war zone.

The loud noises and frequent “booms” might make it hard for your pet to get comfortable in the home, but there are things you can do to lessen that fear.

“The fireworks are very loud,” said Valarie Ross-Smith of Sits ‘n Wiggles. “They create a lot of vibration in both the earth and the air.”

Those unwelcome feelings can translate to more stress for your little one.

At Sits ‘n Wiggles, they understand that caring for your pet doesn’t have to cost an arm and leg.

“We all love our dogs, so providing them with prevention by training up and desensitizing them to the noises ahead of time and then providing them with a safe haven during those difficult times is going to be really important."

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You can start with something you probably have now: A safe space for your pet to hide.

“Most dogs are going to seek out some kind of shelter,” Ross-Smith said. “It might be their crate, it might a closet, it might be under a bed or somewhere in the basement.”

Also try wearing them out by exercising during the day.

“Take them out for a nice walk, a nice sniffari, maybe do some mental enrichment exercises with them, like puzzle toys.”

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What dog doesn’t like treats? Try giving them something to keep them occupied.

“A bully stick to chew on, we can stuff a KONG, peanut butter typically is a favorite but other soft foods that they can lick out,” Ross-Smith recommends.

One of the more important tips is to keep the dogs inside and make sure all doors and windows are closed so they can’t run away.

While they’re in their comfy hiding spot, try playing music or turning on the TV for a little ambient noise.

“Especially classical music can be calming for a dog, and it also helps drown out noise, that booming sound you hear outside.”

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You could also try a vest or a supplement that can reduce stress.

“One of my favorites is a dog-appeasing pheromone,” Ross-Smith said. “It gives pheromones similar to what moms give to puppies to keep them calm.”

If your pet is sensitive to the flashes of light from fireworks, try keeping the lights on.

Whatever you choose to try, make sure you pay attention to your pet’s reaction and talk to your veterinarian if you have questions.

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