Dogs And Fireworks: Why Are Dogs Scared Of Fireworks?

Two scared dogs below a curtain because of fireworks.

We are almost at that time of the year when firework displays light up the night sky. For many people, it is a beautiful sight. But for many dogs, it can be a terrifying experience. Dogs may bark, cower or even try to escape when fireworks go off.

If you're planning a Fourth of July celebration this year, you should take measures to keep your dog calm during the fireworks display. This blog post will discuss why dogs are scared of fireworks and how you can keep your dog calm during the holiday show.

Fireworks And Celebrations

Fireworks - Celebrating Independence Day 4th of July Colorful fireworks at Washington DC, capital city of United States of America. Celebrating Independence Day, 4th of July july fireworks

Fireworks displays are common during holiday festivities like Independence day, new year's eve, and other special occasions, like birthday parties or wedding celebrations. They are also used for military purposes, to create illumination.

Signs That Your Dog Is Scared Of Fireworks

Signs that your dog is scared of fireworks include shaking, pacing up and down, or panting heavily. They may also bark more than usual, tremble, hide or whine. Other signs of distress include destructiveness and soiling unexpectedly. This is why you should always keep an eye on your pup when fireworks are going off to help them with this experience.

You should also note that some dogs don't show any of the signs above. However, this doesn't mean they aren't distressed; they may express their anxiety differently.

Why Are Dogs Scared Of Fireworks?

SCARED DOG COVERED WITH A WARM TASSEL BLANKET

Dogs are afraid of fireworks for several reasons.

1. Fireworks Are Loud

Fireworks scare dogs mostly because of the noise they make. Dogs can hear sounds at frequencies much higher than humans. This means that they are more sensitive to loud noises, and fireworks are very loud. The popping, crackling, and banging of fireworks are enough to send some dogs into a tailspin.

2. Fireworks Are Bright

Fireworks are also very bright and can be overwhelming for most dogs. The flashes of light and the loud noise can be too much for them to handle.

3. Fireworks Are New And Frightening To Them

Dogs experience their surroundings primarily through their senses, and they are capable of detecting sounds and smells from long distances. They thrive in predictable environments, and they don't always have the skills to deal with something new or strange. Fireworks displays are new and strange to them, as a result, they can be perplexing, anxiety-inducing, and downright frightening for dogs.

4.Dogs Have A Natural Fear Of Fire

Dogs have a built-in survival instinct that tells them to avoid fire. The bright lights, flashes, and smells of fireworks can trigger this instinct. All of this can make your dog scared.

5. Dog's Past Experience Or Owner's Past Experience

Some dogs may have had a bad experience with fireworks in the past. If they were scared or traumatized by fireworks, they might be even more afraid of them in the future. Dog owners may also be a reason for the scare due to their reaction to fireworks.

Dogs may also pick up on the fear of their owners when they see fireworks. If you exhibit fearful behavior during fireworks, your dog will likely sense this and react accordingly. So, if you would like your dog to stay calm, you would have to remain calm yourself.

Tips To Help Calm Your Dog During Fireworks

Pet owners can do everything possible to safeguard their animals, but it is tough to avoid Independence Day fireworks if you live in a city or near the field where the display will be held. It's also difficult to anticipate precisely when a loud bang will occur at any moment. And these factors lead us to our crucial point: how to keep your dog calm during a fireworks display. You can help your dog feel more at ease during fireworks by doing the following:

1. Make A Safe Space For Your Dog

Keep your dog inside during fireworks. Make a haven for them, such as a crate or a room where they feel at ease. And if fireworks are going to be set off near your home, ensure you keep your dog safe inside with its favorite toy and treats. Dogs that are crate-trained may feel most secure in their crate.

You can also close the windows and doors to help muffle the noise of the fireworks.

Goldendoodle with a stuffed toy

2. Desensitize Your Dog To The Loud Noises

If you know your dog is scared of fireworks, try to desensitize them to the noise. Start by playing recordings of fireworks at a low volume. Gradually increase the volume over time. This will help your dog get used to the sound and may make it less scary for them when they hear it in real life.

3. Keep Your Dogs Indoors During Fireworks Season

Try to keep your dog calm and relaxed in the days leading up to fireworks. Avoid taking them to places where fireworks are being set off. If you must take them out, try to do it during the day when fireworks are not as likely to be going off.

Dog looks out the window and watching the fireworks

4. Tire Them Out

A tired dog is a calm dog. If your dog has a lot of energy, try to tire them out before the fireworks start. Take them for a long walk or run, play fetch, or let them burn off some steam at a dog park. This will help them be calmer when the fireworks start.

Shot of a young woman playing with her dog outside dog

5. Play Background Noise

Playing background noise can help muffle the sound of fireworks and make them less scary for your dog. You can try leaving a fan, TV, or radio on to help mask the sounds of the fireworks.

6. Use Calming Wraps

You can also try using a calming wrap. This is a piece of fabric that wraps around your dog's body and helps calm it down. You can find these online or at your local pet store.

DIY Anxiety Wrap To Calm A Nervous Dog

7. Seek Professional Advice From A Veterinarian

If your dog is still scared of fireworks, talk to your veterinarian about possible prescription medications that may help. Dogs can be given anti-anxiety medications to help them stay calm during fireworks displays. Calming aids may help your dog to relax and feel less anxious. This should only be done as a last resort after consulting with your vet.

9. Try To Stay Calm Yourself

One of the best things you can do for your dog is to try to stay calm yourself. Dogs are very good at picking up on their owner's emotions. If you're feeling anxious or scared, your dog will likely sense this and react accordingly. So, if you would like your dog to stay calm, you would have to remain calm yourself.

Here's a little helpful tip:

During the holiday, try and ensure your dog has a collar and ID tag on if they run off due to fear of the fireworks. With the aid of the ID tags, your dog can easily be identified and brought back to you.

What Not To Do During A Fireworks Display

 

Dog hiding under a couch

In addition to what you should do during fireworks, here are some things you should not do:

  • Do not leave your dog outside. It would be good to have your dog be in a place where its safety is assured, and outside during fireworks is not a safe place. Since they get scared during fireworks, they are more liable to go missing trying to escape the noise.

  • Do not shout at the dog during fireworks or any loud sounds. It only adds to the dog's stress.

  • Do not punish your dog. This will only make them more scared and could make the problem worse.

  • Do not take your dog to watch fireworks with you. The loud noise and bright lights are sure to frighten them.

  • Please do not leave them alone, instead, comfort them. This will help reduce your pet's anxiety.

Conclusion

Fireworks can be fun for humans, but they can make dogs afraid. Though not all dogs are afraid of fireworks, it's essential to understand why some dogs are scared and how you can help them if they're feeling anxious. With a little preparation, you can help your dog get through fireworks season without too much stress.

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Thanks for reading, and Happy holidays!


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