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Fireworks are a universal symbol of celebration. Crowds eagerly gather to take in the dramatic spectacle of the explosion of color that fills the sky, and the inevitable boom and noise that go with it. Unfortunately, many pets have a very different reaction. With their sensitive hearing and lack of understanding about what’s actually going on, dogs can become very stress or terrified. This often leads to all sort of problems—they may bolt from their home, shake uncontrollably, experience nausea, or even heart problems. The stories about lost dogs increase significantly when fireworks come to town.

The Parma region of Italy may be best know for its delicious cheese and ham, but one town in the famous province is getting attention for another reason: its sensitivity to the needs of its animals.

According to the website Travel Excite, the local government in the town of Collecchio has introduced legislation requiring the use of silent fireworks to reduce the stress it causes many pets. But wait—there are silent fireworks? Happily for phobic pets, Setti Fireworks, in Genova, Italy, has created fireworks that produce the dazzling light show, minus the heart-thumping sound. Bravo!

Since most dog owners don’t live in towns that are quite so accommodating of the negative issues fireworks can bring out in their pets, the AKC Canine Health Foundation offers tips for helping your dog get through the stress she may experience.

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