Dogs Take Independence Day VERY Seriously. Prepare.

Photo: Paul Brown/REX USA.
Anyone who's watched their dog around 4th of July celebrations knows this: Pups absolutely hate the sound of fireworks. But we're sad to learn that this is actually a problem beyond mild annoyance to their sensitive doggie ears. According to the ASPCA, one in five lost pets go missing after being scared by fireworks, thunderstorms, or other loud noises. Another source says there's a 30-60 percent increase in lost pets in the U.S. on July 4, and July 5 is one of the busiest days at animal shelters.

So, the 4th might be a good time to rein in some of your cat's natural independence and keep them indoors, but there might be other options for patriotic dogs. The experts at tell us that you can help calm Spot by giving him plenty of exercise all day before the fireworks begin, and distract him with games when the show is on. They also recommend this adorable getup, called the ThunderShirt, which swaddles nervous mutts.

The best advice is to pay attention to your dog's behavior; if you notice little Fifi just wants to run and hide when the humans are all oohing and aaahing, just give her a safe place to do so. Maybe she's secretly British.

More from Living