Backyard barbecues, pool parties, picnics and fireworks shows might be fun for us humans on the Fourth of July holiday, but, we know they are not necessarily a good time for our pets. There are so many hazards related to the holiday that we decided to ask the veterinary professionals in the Uncharted Veterinary Conference Community to tell help us narrow down the list to the issues they see the most in practice. We also asked them to tell us the number one thing they wished pet owners knew about pets and the holiday. Here’s what they told us:

5. Your dog does not want to go see the fireworks.

Even the calmest dog isn’t going to enjoy hearing loud explosions in an unfamiliar environment. “I had to tell my mom that her dog did not, in fact, want to watch the fireworks! That made me realize how many things that seem obvious to me, do not seem that way to the general public.” – Anonymous

4. You’re asking for a dog fight.

Perhaps your dog is well-socialized and the life of the party, but that doesn’t mean other dogs at the picnic will be on their best behavior. Emergency veterinarian, Emily M. Tincher, says her clinic sees a lot of problems from dog fights from family and friends bringing dogs over. It’s best for everyone (and every pet) involved if you leave Fido home.

3. Watch what your pets eat.

Director of operations, Lee Allen, says they see a lot of dietary indiscretion problems on the Fourth. It’s no surprise with all of the ribs, chicken and other potentially harmful food served on the holiday. Tincher says they see “a lot of corn cob foreign bodies” in their emergency room, too.

2. Lost pets with no identification.

Many of the vets we polled said lost pets with no collars, tags or microchips is a huge problem for them on the holiday. Often when they do have microchips they aren’t registered. There are many reason dogs and cats get scared on the fourth and might try to escape. Be sure you have their collars and tags on, and offer them a safe place.

1. Last minutes calls for medication to help noise phobia.

The number one piece of advice the majority of vet want owners to know is that they can help your pet deal with their fear of noises from fireworks, but it requires a prescription. Don’t wait until the last minute to call your vet. Plan ahead and let your vet help your pet have a more relaxed and comfortable holiday.

Uncharted member and veterinary practice manager Carol Hurst offers some great advice for pet owners,”They should put some sort of plan in place for their pet. Whether that means a cozy place to sleep, toys or treats to take their mind off of things, a nice long walk/jog or playtime during the day so they are nice and tired,” says Hurst.

The Fourth of July doesn’t have to be torture for anxious pets. Get help early and get a plan in place to keep them safe and happy.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the editorial team.