Can we really blame dogs for being afraid of fireworks? After all, they’re basically mini bombs that explode with impressive levels of sound and flashes of color. That’s probably not your pooch’s preferred method for celebrating anything.

The University of Bristol’s School of Veterinary Sciences conducted a study in 2013. The results showed that a fear of fireworks is one of the most common causes of anxiety in dogs (source).

Why Fireworks and Noise Anxiety In Dogs Is A Match Made In He!! 

Signs

Researchers in this study also discovered that not all owners recognized their furry friend’s signs of experiencing noise anxiety. This is because some are more subtle than others. Below is a list of symptoms that indicate your dog may be experiencing anxiety during fireworks.

  • Hiding
  • Trembling/Shaking
  • Clinginess 
  • Whining
  • Barking
  • Urinating
  • Panting
  • Pacing/Restlessness

Why Dogs Dislike Fireworks

Dogs don’t understand fireworks the way we do. If they have negative past experiences with loud noises it can result in making them fearful of repeated loud noises. Resulting in anticipation of loud noises – negative anticipation, or what we call anxiety. This leads to noise anxiety in dogs.

Dogs also have a reflexive, or instinctual response, to loud noises. Just like how humans tend to automatically turn their head when a sudden or loud noise happens. Boom! And we wonder what’s going on. For dogs that type of experiences poses a threat. This initiates the fight or flight response. Many dogs assume fireworks are something too big and scary for them to fight. So they’ll want to hide or flee. 

Another aspect to take into account is the difference in hearing ability between humans and canines. We often like to show off our dog’s abilities. And a dog’s exceptional hearing can be a boon to us when they are trained to hunt or be some sort of special services dog. They can even use this skill to help warn or protect their owners. However, we tend to forget that a dog’s increased hearing means that loud noises that are fine for us are overwhelming to our dogs.

Fireworks produce sound decibels between 150-175. The World Health Organization says that humans shouldn’t expose themselves too long to sounds above 140 decibels. A scientific bioacoustics article says that exposure to prolonged noise at 85 decibels or higher can cause hearing damage for dogs and cats (source). With that level of sound sensitivity, it’s no wonder dogs don’t like being around fireworks.

What You Can Do To Protect Your Dog’s Hearing And Soothe Your Dog’s Anxiety In The Midst Of Fireworks

If you’re in a situation where your dog has no choice but to be around fireworks, it’s important to find dog ear protection. Firework dog ear plugs can be a great asset to both protect your furry loved one’s ears and reduce their anxiety. Through their noise dampening effects, ear plugs for dogs help dogs feel safer in what would normally be a stressful environment while also limiting the damage sound pressure can cause on their ears.

Resources

https://www.akcchf.org/canine-health/your-dogs-health/noise-phobia-in-dogs.html#:~:text=Noise%20phobia%20is%20an%20excessive,and%20in%20any%20dog%20breed.

https://www.rover.com/blog/why-are-dogs-afraid-of-fireworks-in/

https://www.boystownhospital.org/knowledge-center/fireworks-hearing-loss#:~:text=Fireworks%20produce%20a%20sound%20output,150%20to%20175%20decibel%20range.&text=The%20second%20thing%20to%20consider,the%20recommendation%20is%20120%20decibels.

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