People love fireworks, but the feeling is not shared by their four-legged friends, who tend to run for the hills at the sight of a flash and the sound of a boom.

“It can be a real scary time of year for dogs,” said Sue McGuire, the canine behavior manager at the Sonoma Humane Society. “We have the highest number of stray dogs come in the day after the Fourth. They get scared and they bolt.”

Illegal fireworks and large, city-sponsored celebrations aren’t the only culprits in causing dogs to panic said McGuire. Safe-and-sane fireworks are scary for dogs, too.

But there are ways to keep both humans and dogs happy this holiday weekend.

Keep your dogs inside and provide white noise by turning on fans and the radio, said McGuire. Give them toys, treats or something else that will distract them, she continued.

And most important: Don’t bring your dogs to fireworks displays. “It’s not a kind or humane thing to do,” McGuire said.

You can reach Staff Writer Nick Rahaim at 707-521-5203 or