Why Dogs are Freaked Out By Fireworks
If your dog is anything like mine, she'll be hiding under the bed for another ten days or so, until the possibility of hearing the pop of a firecracker is gone. There are four big reasons why dogs are not fans of the 4th of July.
My Mini Pinscher mix, Libby, is a nervous one all the time. On a normal day, if she's about to cross the patio to reach the grass and suddenly the wind blows and a leaf crosses her path, she gets scared and shoots right back into the house. And if I happen to get some ice from the ice maker while she's eating dog food from her dish, she'll stop in mid-bite and wait around the corner until I'm done. She doesn't have the mental wherewithal to make it through wind noise and ice cubes hitting my stainless steel cup, so the 4th of July and the popping sounds of firecrackers present a real problem. She must feel like the world is ending.
I must have purchased enough Purina products to get on their newsletter list, and I got an email from them the other day that highlights the biggest reasons why dogs are afraid of fireworks. They just don't understand that we're celebrating, and not trying to kill them.
1. They’re Loud - Dogs have a more acute sense of hearing than humans, so those loud booms, crackles, and whistles scare them on a whole new level.
2. They’re Unpredictable - The dogs don't know it's the 4th of July and they don't understand that it's a tradition to send fireworks into the air. All of the loud noises come at different intervals, so dogs can’t get used to them.
3. They Pose a Threat - The threat triggers a fight-or-flight response and dogs might try to run away and hide. At the very least, dogs will get anxious, restless, and they'll probably pant and whine.
4. Fireworks Make Dogs Feel Trapped - Even indoors, the fireworks can still be heard, so there's really nowhere to go to get away from them. And that's why dogs like mine end up under the bed. At least the noise is muted there, and they might feel a little bit like they've successfully dug themselves a hole to hide in.
Grand finales have to be the WORST for dogs. All of those successive pops and bangs in a row, and if they get a glimpse of the flashes and sprays of color they must really think something is about to get them.
Purina says we should provide plenty of cozy blankets and toys for the pups this 4th of July and create a space where they feel safe. Cranking up the radio to drown out the noise is another awesome idea.
Hang in there Libby, it'll be over soon! The wind and ice maker noise, on the other hand, that'll probably continue. Love ya girl.