Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- With fireworks being set off this weekend, you can expect loud noises. And those loud booms can scare your pets.

"The fireworks mimic a thunderstorm," said Dr. Wendy King, a veterinarian at Spears Creek Veterinary Clinic.

Every July 4 weekend, thousands of people across the country lose their pets.

"They're certainly going to have increased anxiety, so they don't enjoy the fireworks the way we do," said Dr. Brock Hendrix, a veterinarian at Garners Ferry Animal Hospital.

To avoid the stress and frustration of losing your pets, local veterinarians are recommending that pet owners place their animals in a secure place. There are a number of ways to keep animals calm, including aromatherapy and a thunder shirt, which applies pressure to an animal's body.

But Dr. King said one drug, which has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, can provide a calming effect without sedating your pet. It's called Sileo.

"It's a gel that the owners rub on the gums of the pets. It makes the pets not able to produce adrenaline, so they don't have that fear response," she said.

According to King, Sileo costs $32 per syringe and will treat a small dog up to 5 times and a larger dog up to 3 times. She said each application lasts 2-3 hours and can be repeated as necessary. She said Sileo can also be used if your pet gets anxiety when riding in a vehicle.

To keep your pets safe this holiday weekend, here are some recommendations:

  • Collar, tag and microchip your pet with up-to-date information
  • Acclimate your pet to noises and lights
  • Secure your fences and exit doors
  • Leave pets at home with a safe space
  • Keep party/picnic foods out of pets' reach
  • Be aware of warm weather hazards
  • Clean up fireworks debris