As firecrackers pop in the neighborhood, Sake stays inside, trembling in fear.
The 45-pound blond lab mix is terrified of fireworks — the dog pants and shakes from the noise.
"He shakes so hard his teeth chatter," said Amy Wurst, the Brookside owner of Sake (pronounced like the Japanese rice wine). "It's just miserable to watch him."
While humans enjoy a prolonged weekend of barbecues, parties and setting off fireworks, many household pets will meet the holiday with fear. Firework fright leads to stress, injuries and even running away, making the July Fourth season especially dreadful for pets, owners and animal control staff that pick up scared strays.
"It's a terrifying holiday for a lot of pets," said Susan Nelson, assistant professor of clinical sciences at the Pet Health Center at Kansas State University's College of Veterinary Medicine.
Many pets, especially dogs, develop a fear of thunderstorms and fireworks later on in life, Nelson said.
"Most puppies don't seem to care," she said. "But as dogs mature, we tend to see more noise phobias."
Dogs can be disturbed so much that they have even been known to run right through sliding glass doors to get away, Nelson said.
"Cats tend to go hide under a sofa or bed," she said. "Dogs just hurt themselves more."
Parties and picnics provide distractions for pet owners and leave more pets alone at home, said George Harding, Lee's Summit supervisor of animal control.
"It just creates a greater opportunity for the animals to get out," he said.
Harding warns that even the calmest pup should be met with caution over the holiday weekend. If you see a lost pet, he recommends calling the local animal control agency and leaving it alone.
"Fireworks can heighten a dog's anxiety, so you definitely don't want to try to approach them on your own," he said.
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