While man may delight in watching Fourth of July fireworks light up the sky, his best friend is more likely to feel traumatized, animal experts say.
"It's not a good idea to use fireworks around pets," said Sara Kersey, program director at Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society. "The sounds are way too loud for their very sensitive hearing.
She urges dog owners not to bring their pets to fireworks shows, but to leave them at home and indoors. The loud noises and bright lights cause them to panic, and they are more likely to bolt, thinking they are escaping danger, she said.
"It's easy for dogs to get disoriented at big, crowded events," she said.
A spokesman for the Peninsula Humane Society advises those who leave their pets outside to shore up fence boards for sturdiness.
Independence Day is usually the busiest time of year for the Humane Society, the number of pets lost on the holiday has dropped significantly over the past 15 years because people are taking more precautions, Scott Delucchi said.
San Francisco Animal Care and Control is reminding owners to make sure their pets' identification tags are visible at all times, and to have a veterinarian implant a microchip in addition to the tags.
Bay City News Service contributed to this report.
Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society hosts the Bay to Barkers fundraiser July 29 at Golden Gate Fields, featuring dog activities, games and treats, raffle prizes and a pet festival. More information is available on the Society's website.