MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee pet shop said it is keeping busy this Fourth of July holiday as customers are looking for ways to calm their pets during fireworks.

Jared Wagner is the co-owner of Skilos and said the Fourth of July is the number one weekend dogs go missing.

“Due to the scent of fireworks, all the external stimulants and the noise,” said Wagner.

He recommended owners keep their animals inside over the holiday, especially if they are hosting a party. 

“Making sure you have a leash, collar with proper tagging,” said Wagner. “Name, phone number, address if you want to contact. Keeping the gates closed. Keeping the dog in an enclosed environment.” 

When it comes to calming treats and medications, he said they can help if they’re used correctly. 

“You want to use it on an empty stomach,” said Wagner. “Be consistent and use it a couple days before the stress would come about.”

Other options include keeping them busy with mental stimulation like licking mats or white noise.

White noise is something Hallie Hayes always turns on before she leaves the house. Her rescue dog, Lady, is terrified of loud noises such as fireworks.

“This is our first Milwaukee summer and apparently there’s a lot of fireworks by the lake,” said Hayes. “We are a little nervous.”

She’s already prepared for their plan when the fireworks go off over the holiday weekend.

“We put blankets down in my closet,” said Hayes. “We cuddle up. We watch movies on my laptop. We try to feel safe and keep it as quiet as possible.” 

Lady has never taken calming medications, but Hallie will put a calming shirt on her, which are designed to help relieve symptoms of anxiety. Hayes said she also checks in on her with a dog camera, to ensure her pup is at ease especially over a frightful holiday.