Why is My Dog Scared of Fireworks
Most people love fireworks. Fireworks mean celebration, free time, family and friends and fun. But while you are out marveling at those big, colorful displays in the night sky, your dog is cowering and whimpering behind the couch. Why is your dog scared of fireworks? For that matter, why are most family pets terrified when the fireworks start popping? Let's find out!
Dogs and Fireworks
Dogs Are Hardwired to Fear Loud Sounds
As Popular Science points out, being afraid of loud noises is just part of what it means to be a dog.
Dogs, like people and other animals, have an innate fear of sudden loud noises. The fight-or-flight brain equates a sudden loud sound with danger.
Even if a dog has been specially trained as a gun dog or hunting dog to tolerate loud sounds, this doesn't mean the fearfulness goes away. It just means that the dog has learned that specific loud sounds are not a source of danger.
Different Dogs Show Fear of Fireworks Differently
Real Clear Science explains different breeds of dog scared of fireworks may show their fear differently.
In other words, learning to tell that your dog is scared of fireworks is all about learning how your dog shows that they are afraid.
Here are some examples:
- German Shepherds: tend to show fear by pacing
- Border Collies: tend to show fear by hiding
- Miniature Schnauzers: tend to show fear with displays of aggression or barking
Other telltale signs of a fear of fireworks can include these behaviors:
- Shaking or trembling
- Destructive chewing
- Inappropriate elimination
- Running away
Even if your dog is a stoic rock in every other situation, if you see any of these symptoms when the fireworks start popping, chances are good you have a dog scared of fireworks who needs comforting.
Helping a Dog Scared of Fireworks
It is awful to see your dog acting so fearful, isn't it! You just want your precious pup to be happy and feel safe.
In some cases, you may be able to train your dog to no longer fear fireworks. But this process can take some time and you may not always have that time.
Other strategies the Vets Now recommends include these:
- Using a calming weather shirt or vest.
- Trying ear muffs on your dog to muffle the sound of the fireworks.
- Tire your dog out with play or a run before the fireworks start.
- Feed a large meal far in advance before the fireworks start.
- Add CBD oil for pets to your dog's water or food.
Helping a dog scared of fireworks can take some strategizing and advance planning. But the good news is, the strategies you just read about really can work to ease your dog's fears.
Most importantly, be sure to make sure your pup is in a secure place - not tied up, but contained so there is no danger your dog will run away out of fear. Then you can work towards fear desensitization before fireworks happen again.