Why Are Dogs Scared of Fireworks?

Posted by Dawn Donaldson

While we’re just at the beginning of summer, it won’t be all that long until the 4th of July is here. Throughout Cincinnati and the rest of the United States, the 4th is a great opportunity to enjoy food, family and fireworks. However, there’s a large group that does not like this holiday at all.

Dogs are the group that would be much happier if the 4th of July was celebrated differently. The reason dogs of all ages and sizes dislike this holiday is the fireworks. More specifically, the majority of dogs are scared of fireworks. As a dog owner, it never feels good to see your buddy getting upset. So if you want to know why dogs are scared of fireworks and if there’s anything you can do to help, keep reading to get all the answers:

Dogs’ Excellent Hearing Plays a Key Role in Their Fear

We all know that on the 4th and in the days leading up to this date, fireworks are going to make loud sounds in the evening. But dogs don’t have a way to know this holiday has arrived. So when they suddenly hear fireworks going off, it’s the equivalent of a human being startled by a loud noise they weren’t expecting.

What makes fireworks an even more intense experience for dogs is their acute hearing. A dog’s keen senses also explain why they may be afraid of fireworks but not thunderstorms. With thunderstorms, dogs are able to pick up on warning signs like high winds or barometric pressure changes. Sensing those changes gives a dog the ability to prepare for what comes next.

How to Help a Dog That’s Scared of Fireworks

Not every dog is scared of fireworks. If yours doesn’t show any signs of being upset, it’s either their easygoing personality or enough exposure to loud noises at a young age to know fireworks don’t present a threat. For all the owners who do have dogs that get scared by fireworks, there are a few ways to help reduce anxiety.

The first is to provide a safe and secure place inside for your dog to go. A crate with a toy or dog bed are two good options. The next tip is to play calm music. This can help provide a distraction. Another way to distract your dog is by giving it a treat. An added benefit is this can actually create a positive association for your dog with fireworks.

The last tip is to stay calm. Your dog will look to you for reassurance. By maintaining a calm energy, you can help your dog understand that there isn’t any danger instead of causing your dog to worry even more.