CHICAGO (CBS) — Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer – a season that poses some unique challenges for pet owners.

Fireworks, for example, are one of those challenges.

We associate fireworks with the Fourth of July, but fireworks shows are a constant in the summertime. From home runs at White Sox games to fireworks displays that kick off summer festivals, fireworks shows are a soundtrack of summer. WBBM’s Rob Hart reports.

Dr. Amanda Mink at the North Central Veterinary Emergency Center in Highland, Indiana said pet owners should be sure to keep the doors and windows locked so pets do not run out of the house.

“Putting the radio and TV on could help cover up some of those signs,” Mink said.

“Thunder Shirts” can also help, Mink said; but in some cases, medication may be necessary to cure severe anxiety.

“Call your vet, maybe at the end of June, to talk about whether medication is necessary for your pet,” she said.

Heat stroke is another risk factor. She said pet owners should walk their dogs in the early morning or evening, when temperatures are relatively cooler.

The symptoms of heat stroke include excessive panting, lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea. Dr. Mink said if you suspect your dog is showing signs of heat stroke, wrap it in a towel soaked in cold water, and drive it to the vet in an air conditioned car. Heat stroke can be fatal if untreated.

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