In the animal care world, July 5 is known as the busiest day of the year.

The reason?

Fireworks.

At the sound of the first boom, family pets will tear through screens, break windows, shoot out doors, scale tall fences and race for miles until they are completely disoriented and exhausted.

"That one day can be pretty scary," said Laura Garber, manager of behavior and enrichment for the Pennsylvania SPCA.

It's not just the larger firework displays but also the occasional neighborhood firework or sidewalk popper that can send pets running, said Garber.

Garber advises trying to desensitize pets to the loud sounds by softly playing YouTube videos of fireworks as the pet eats, gradually increasing the volume over the course of a week to get them used to the commotion.

While many pets make it home, sadly some don't.

"Any time a dog gets off a leash there are dangers," said Garber. "They are blind to what they are doing and run into traffic."

Even street smart cats are vulnerable to the loud noises.

"Bring cats inside," said Garber.

All animals should have identification on a well-fitting collar, said Justina Calgiano, spokesperson for the Providence Animal Shelter in Media.

"Getting a pet microchipped is better," said Calgiano. Animal welfare facilities and some pet stores offer chip clinics as well as local veterinarians, she said.

Signs an animal is feeling stressed include panting, drooling, pacing or not wanting to eat. Cats may groom excessively, said Calgiano.

"They are going to freak out," she said.

If the animal wants to hide, let them. It is their way of coping, she said.

The Humane Society of the United States offers some helpful hints:

Leave pets home from fireworks.

Keep them inside.

Shield them from the loud noise. Close windows.

Turn on a radio or TV to mask the loud noises.

Consult a veterinarian for medication and behavioral techniques, if needed.

Don't punish or yell at an animal if they react to the noise, it will make them more fearful.

Make sure the animal has proper identification.

215-854-4908

@MariSchaefer