Fireworks are no treat for your pet

- Fireworks bursting in the air leave some dogs on a short fuse.

"Having a massive panic attack, is the easiest way I can think to understand that," said Dr. Melissa Webster of the Tampa Veterinary Hospital.

She says the lit up night sky can be a dog's worst nightmare. It can even make them physically sick.

"Because some of them get themselves dehydrated because they're panting and racing around the house," said Webster. "Some can have vomiting and diarrhea after the experience because they're so anxious.

Todd Williams doesn't know how his five-month-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Harper, will react to the loud booms that come with fireworks until the holiday weekend. But, he's seen the problem before. 

"Just shivering," said Williams. "Sometimes [dogs] get so freaked out, you can't even comfort them."

Dr. Webster cautions against comforting them too much.

"The hard part is, counter-intuitively, the more you hug your pet or make them comforted during that storm, you might be creating a pet who has high need to just have that comforting feeling every single time there's a storm."

Instead, she recommends keeping them focused with a toy, crating or keeping them confined to a room, or taking them out early for a walk.

"Exercise your pet earlier in the day, so maybe they're a little more tired in the evening when the fireworks are going to be going on," said Webster.

This information doesn't just pertain to dogs, it goes for cats and other pets who may have phobias related to fireworks or storms.

Dr. Webster also recommends taking your pet to the veterinarian to get it checked out and make sure your furry friends aren't dealing with any other medical condition. You can give them over the counter medications like Benadryl, but chances are, it will wear off fast.

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