Celebrating the New Year is one of the happiest moments for everyone, as we say goodbye to an old chapter and welcome a new one.
However, one of the most joyful celebrations for us turn out to be the most stressful one for our furry friends.
There are various reasons why dogs are afraid of thunder and fireworks. Some of these reasons include loud, unpredictable, and pose a threat to their safety.
This article will share nine reasons why dogs are afraid of thunder and fireworks and what steps you can try to help calm them down when their fear of anxiety kicks in.
Dogs may be afraid of thunder and fireworks for the following reasons:
1. Loud noises
Most dogs are noise sensitive, mainly because their sense of hearing is 1,000 times more powerful than humans.
It means that the loud sounds we hear brought about by thunder and fireworks are a thousand times louder for them too.
It is one of the main reasons dogs seem afraid or anxious every time they hear thunder and fireworks.
2. Threat or danger
Most dogs view anything that has a loud noise as something that carries a threat or danger along with it.
Some dogs might have even seen people of other animals get struck by lightning or accidentally hit by a firework, so they get started or afraid every time they hear these loud sounds.
If we look at it this way, being afraid of thunder and fireworks is not abnormal or weird.
Fearing these things might be standard, especially for sheltered dogs.
3. Damage to the environment
Another reason why dogs are afraid of thunder and fireworks is that these two may have brought damage to a dog’s environment before.
For instance, your dog might have seen a tree that got struck by lightning and fell off a house, of when thunderstorms occur and are usually followed by a power outage and flooding.
These things worsen a dog’s fear, making them think that damage to their environment is soon to mind whenever there is thunder.
Just as much as you hate being startled, your dog hates this feeling too.
Can you imagine just chilling and minding your own business when suddenly, you hear a loud noise out of nowhere?
It would, of course, startle you and may even leave you feeling anxious or afraid.
The same goes for your furry friends.
5. Flashing lights
Aside from loud noises, both thunder and fireworks are accompanied by flashing lights.
It adds to the surprise of dogs whenever a thunder lights up the sky or when a firework is set off.
6. Static shock
Whenever there is a thunderstorm, a “static build-up” usually happens in your dog’s fur.
Large dogs and those with double coats or long furs can quickly build up static electricity.
And this makes your dog feel like it is being electrified or shocked in small doses.
It causes them to feel uncomfortable and anxious, and later, develops to a fear of thunderstorms.
7. Smoked and foggy surroundings
Dogs feel uncomfortable whenever they cannot see what is around them.
It makes them feel like something behind the smoke is waiting to attack them, making them feel stressed and anxious.
8. They feel trapped
Loud noises like fireworks and thunder make a dog feel trapped because they cannot escape these sounds wherever they go.
Because of this, they feel like they have nowhere to go and that wherever they try to hide, their safety is compromised.
9. Emotion trigger
Dogs have associated loud noises with anger and aggressiveness, and hearing loud sounds triggers these emotions in them.
It is like when someone shouts at you, and you have the urge or the impulse to shout back at them.
The same way goes for dogs.
Hearing loud sounds like fireworks and thunder makes them feel like they should fight back or attack, but to an unseen force or “enemy.”
What Are the Signs That Your Dog Is Feeling Stressed or Anxious Whenever They Hear Thunder or Fireworks?
If you want to figure out beforehand whether your dog is getting stressed or anxious during a thunderstorm or a fireworks display, here are some telltale signs you should watch out for:
- Pacing back and forth
- Urinating and defecating uncontrollably inside the house.
- Digging or clawing at walls and floors
- Chewing household items
- Attempting to hide or escape
- Unusual signs of aggression
- Ears are held back, and eyes appear more expansive than usual
What To Do Whenever Your Dog Is Feeling Stressed or Anxious During a Thunderstorm Or Fireworks Display?
1. Keep the doors shut
They may attempt to run away if they get startled by the loud sounds from thunder and fireworks.
2. Keep a close eye on your dog
As mentioned above, the probability that your furry friend will claw on walls, floors and chew on household items is high once they feel stressed or anxious.
Keep a close eye on them to make sure that they do not get hurt in the process.
3. Separate them from other animals
Another thing is that your dog has the possibility of becoming aggressive, especially if they feel like they are in danger.
They may try to attack your other pets, so make sure to put them in a separate cage or room and accompany them until the thunderstorm or the fireworks display is over.
Not all dogs are afraid of fireworks and thunder.
But if your dog seems to be acting strange whenever they hear loud sounds, then make sure to take good care of them until after the storm has passed or the fireworks display has finished.
Be your dog’s safe space.
Keep it comfortable and make sure that it is distracted from the noise and happy enough not to mind the loud noises it hears.