Dogs & Fireworks: Why Are Dogs Scared of Fireworks?
We love a colorful sky explosion as much as the next person, but the reality is: some of our furry friends don’t!
Lucky for you, “I and love and you” has done detective work, so that pet owners everywhere can get to the bottom of the fireworks fear and anxiety, and figure out how to soothe fur babies during fireworks season.
Reasons Why Dogs Are Scared of Fireworks
Knowledge is power! So let’s talk about why dogs are afraid of fireworks, so that we can all go into the summer prepped and ready:
Dogs have a hearing capacity that far out-paces humans. So the booms and zings that seem loud to us, are magnified to them. Sounds pretty scary to us!
Not only do fireworks come out of nowhere on the 4th of July, but they don’t follow any specific pattern when they’re being set off. By the time pups recover from hearing one, another is exploding. Can someone say canine stress to the max?
They Pose A Threat
The unpredictability of fireworks can make dogs feel threatened. Loud noises can trigger fight or flight responses, which can lead to barking and signs of anxiety like: restlessness, panting, and whining.
They Make Dogs Feel Trapped
There’s no escaping the sounds of fireworks on a night like the 4th of July. Their instinct will be to run, but wherever they go, the noises follow, which can lead to feelings of panic and anxiety.
How To Calm Dogs From Fireworks
Questions about dogs and fireworks are always at the forefront of canine anxiety conversations. So how do we keep our furry friends relaxed during these stressful months? Let’s talk tips and tricks:
- Keep dogs inside. Even dogs that spend most of their time outdoors should be brought inside during fireworks displays in order to avoid the potential for run-aways.
- Create a safe space. If your pup has a crate, make it “home” for the night! If not, use a small room in the house to create a cozy environment with their favorite toys, blankets, and soothing music.
- Get a calming wrap or vest. If you have a dog that’s scared of thunder and fireworks, you may already know that they often respond well to vests and shirts that create a calm and constant compression.
- Desensitize. Introducing the sounds of fireworks at a low volume, and rewarding with treats, can help prep dogs for the 4th. Increase volume during play sessions to re-associate potentially scary sounds with periods of enjoyment!
Firework Safety And Your Dog
Here’s a quick list of Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to dogs and fireworks:
|Keep dogs indoors, and in a crate or cozy room||Bring dogs to fireworks displays|
|Muffle noises with curtains, blankets, or soft music||Acknowledge their fear - it will add to their anxiety|
|Check fencing for holes to prevent escape||Let them off leash outside of a fenced area during fireworks season|
|Ensure properly fitted collars + updated tags||Panic! — Your pup needs you to stay calm|
|Offer added exercise during the day, to help stave off extra energy later||Forget to give them extra love & treats|
No one likes to see their pup in distress, but follow our fireworks guide, and we’re certain that you’ll be on your way to a stress-free summer in no time.