The booms are coming back! With the weather warming up, it is easy to imagine that summer will be here before we know it. For one reason or another, people enjoy using fireworks to create their summer celebrations. That poses a problem for dogs and the humans that love them. What do dogs really think about fireworks? You may find that they are not very fond of them. Let’s explore the reaction that dogs tend to have towards fireworks displays.
Fireworks Cause Anxiety and Physical Pain
A dog’s hearing is geared towards being able to pick up on small prey hiding in the brush. Dog’s can hear sounds that are much quieter (as low as -15 dB) and much higher pitched (47,000 – 65,000 Hz) than humans can hear (source). Loud sounds, like fireworks, can not only cause damage to a dog’s hearing, but cause anxiety as well.
Just like their human counterpart, anxiety is a way that dogs deal with stress. Stress and anxiety release hormones, such as norepinephrine, that result in the “fight or flight” response. These hormones cause the dog’s heart rate to go up, blood pressure to increase, and cause shifts in the dog’s brain chemistry. Especially if the anxiety or stress is chronic, it can cause headaches, muscle cramping, and changes in the way digestion works.
All these very difficult side effects of stress and anxiety tell us that what dogs really think about fireworks is that they are not fun at all. They may even find them to be physically painful. For some dogs, fireworks make it impossible to function normally for the duration of the show and sometimes beyond.
Signs That Your Dog Is Anxious
One way we can tell what dogs really think about fireworks is by their observable visible symptoms. Some of the symptoms of stress and anxiety include:
- Shutting down
- Lowered or limp tail
- Reduced appetite
Your dog does not have to have all the above symptoms to be feeling stress and anxiety. If you see these symptoms, clearly what dogs really think about fireworks is that they are super scary. Should the symptoms persist, contact your veterinarian for guidance.
Helping Curb Your Dog’s Anxiety
Now, knowing the symptoms, you can tell what dogs really think about fireworks. Helping your dog may be simpler than you think. Here are 3 great ideas that help curb anxiety in dogs.
- Create a safe space for your dog
Before the firework shows begin, create a space in your home that is just for your dog. It should be a dark, quiet room where your dog can be by themselves. Quiet music can be playing to dampen down the noise of the fireworks. Only the dog is allowed in after the fireworks begin. Get your dog used to the room and being there by themselves prior to firework season.
- Use dog earplugs
CrittEar Calm dog earplugs help to buffer down loud noises to the level of a quiet conversation. These dog earplugs will help protect your dog’s hearing as well as calm their noise anxiety. They are made of a super soft medical grade memory foam, which makes them comfortable for your dog to wear. Just begin training your dog to accept dog earplugs a few short weeks before firework season begins.
- Consult with your neighbors
Talk with your neighbors about how fireworks affect your dog and other dogs in the neighborhood. Try to come to an agreement not to have firework shows in your neighborhood or at least to limit them.
Showing That You Know What Dogs Really Think About Fireworks
Is your dog tired of the boom booms? Let your neighbors know what your dog really thinks about fireworks with our delightful new lawn flags. Made of 100% polyester, our lawn flags will not crease or shrink over time. Think of this as the new “Baby on Board” sign! Through a little bit of humor, you can start an important conversation and hopefully, stop the boom booms in your neighborhood.