Do you have a dog? Is he afraid of fireworks? Do you sometimes find yourself wondering why your dog is so scared of something that seems fairly normal to you?
Fear of fireworks is common in dogs in Matthews, and it can sometimes be a serious concern. Dogs may be more prone to running away from home during fireworks because of their fear, and some dogs may even suffer health risks related to the fear too. In this article, we’ll explain more about why dogs are so often afraid of fireworks.
Fireworks are Noisy
Perhaps the most obvious reason for a dog’s fear of fireworks is the noise. The sound of fireworks is very loud, and it can sometimes go on for a long time, depending on the fireworks in question. These are not sounds your dog is used to hearing on a day-to-day basis, so they can be very scary to him.
These loud noises may include popping, crashing, booming, and whistling, among others. Some dogs may be afraid of only one type of fireworks noise, while many dogs are afraid of all of them.
Fireworks Can be Startling
Not only are fireworks loud, but they are also sudden. Many dogs would be more capable of dealing with these loud noises if they started slowly, but fireworks explode quickly and without warning, which can startle dogs significantly. In fact, some dogs who are afraid of fireworks settle down at least a little bit if they hear a whole fireworks show going on, since the initial startling noise has a chance to pass.
Particularly if you live in a household that isn’t very noisy most of the time, these sudden sounds can be overwhelming to dogs.
Fireworks May Sound Intimidating
The sounds created by fireworks often sound like thunder, which is generally frightening to dogs as well. They may associate this noise with something that can potentially hurt them, which contributes to the overall fear. Additionally, whistling or screaming noises may sound to a dog like an injured animal, which signifies danger as well.
It’s hard to say what a dog is thinking during a fireworks show, but keep in mind that the sounds may have much different associations for your furry friend than they do for you, and your dog has no way of knowing their real cause.
Dogs May Feel Unsafe
When a dog is afraid of something, he wants to feel safe. If he is out in the open when fireworks begin—such as in the backyard or in a spacious room of your home—he may be even more afraid than he would be otherwise.
It’s always a good idea to set your dog up with a safe space inside the home before fireworks get started. This space should include his favorite blanket or pillow, a comfortable place to rest, and perhaps a white noise machine or radio playing soft music. The smaller the space, the better, as your dog will feel safer in close quarters.
Dogs May Have Previous Trauma
Many dogs have trauma associated with storms. If your dog was a rescue dog, he may have spent time outdoors without anywhere safe to go during a storm. Some dogs may even be survivors of major hurricanes and other natural disasters, which can in turn cause them to be more afraid of noises they might associate with these traumas.
Dogs who come from abusive households or other unpleasant conditions may also associate loud noises with their trauma. If you adopted your dog later in life, you may not be aware of what causes him to fear these kinds of noises.
Humans May Also be Nervous
Finally, your dog may be feeling nervous because you’re feeling nervous. If you’re afraid of fireworks or get a little jumpy over loud sounds, your dog is likely to mimic that. Even if you don’t feel like you’re showing your fear openly, dogs can pick up on fear in their owners easily.
Try to remain calm and don’t fuss over your dog too much during fireworks. Simply take him to his safe space in your home, keep him company, and otherwise do not act like anything is out of the ordinary. A calm owner can help keep a dog calm, too.
How You Can Help Your Dog if They’re Afraid of Fireworks in Matthews, NC
It’s important to understand just what it is about fireworks that could be causing your dog to react in fear. Many dogs are afraid of fireworks, so in turn, there are many potential treatments for this fear as well.
Treatments for a fear of fireworks include thunder shirts, small safe spaces within the home, white noise machines to cover the noise, and sometimes anti-anxiety medication. If you think your dog might benefit from one of these options, you should talk to your veterinarian in Matthews, NC for more information.
At Caring Hearts Animal Hospital, we understand that different dogs react to events in different ways. There could be many different reasons why your dog is afraid of fireworks, and while it can be hard to pinpoint the exact underlying cause, this doesn’t mean that your pet can’t receive the best treatment possible for them. Our team will work with you on developing the best plan to help your pet remain as calm and relaxed as possible during times when fireworks are going off.
If you have any questions about how to best help your pet, or if you would like to schedule an appointment to talk about your dog more, contact us today.