Why Do Fireworks Scare Some Dogs, and Not Others?

Why Do Fireworks Scare Some Dogs, and Not Others?

Most dog owners know that the 4th of July is a dog’s least favorite holiday.  Fireworks are one of the most common anxiety triggers for canines, and while each dog may react to them differently, it’s safe to say that no dog gets enjoyment out of those sudden, loud bangs and flashes of light.  

But, not all dog owners are as tuned into their furry friend’s state of mind, and may be missing on the subtler clues that their dog is in distress.  At the same time, there are dogs out there who are less bothered.

Signs That Your Dog is Scared of Fireworks

It’s no wonder why dogs are generally afraid of fireworks.  After all, consider what you would think if you heard fireworks without knowing what they are.  Loud, sudden noises, especially when accompanied by flashing lights, would cause most people to think that they’re in danger, and a dog thinks no differently.  

Some dog owners may think that their dog isn’t scared of fireworks, but only because their particular furry companion is better at hiding distress than others.  You’ll have a hard time finding a dog who isn’t distressed by loud, sudden noises – after all, a dog doesn’t have the ability to recognize that the sound of fireworks isn’t indicative of danger, but is actually harmless – but, dogs are also masters of hiding their vulnerability, and can do a surprisingly good job at hiding their anxiety as a survival mechanism to ensure safety.

As a dog owner, it’s helpful to recognize the most common signs of emotional distress.  As you’ll see, some of them are less obvious than others. 

  • Pacing/restlessness 
  • Whimpering
  • Hiding
  • Chewing on their skin/fur
  • Disinterest in food, play or affection
  • Urinating inside
  • Drooling
  • Rapid breathing
  • Aggression

Look for any of these symptoms during a fireworks display, and in general, any other unusual behaviors that are out of the ordinary for your dog.  This way, you’ll know if you need to take certain measures in an effort to calm them the next time fireworks are going off in your neighborhood. 

Why are Some Dogs Less Reactive to Fireworks?

Now, at the end of the day, no two dogs are the same.  And, you may happen to have a dog who is less bothered by fireworks – who either sees them as more of an annoyance, or altogether has no fear of them.  And, there are various reasons why that may be the case.

If your dog shows no sign of anxiety, then you may just have a dog who has a less reactive nervous system, and a higher resilience to stress.  If that’s the case, it’s likely that your dog is similarly calm during thunderstorms.  To an extent, we can have an influence on our dog’s stress tolerance, by maintaining an environment that makes them feel safe, and making them feel secure by meeting their daily needs.

Of course, if you have a dog who is deaf, the sound of fireworks won’t cause any type of reaction at all.  And, there’s another potential cause, which is CBD.  If you give your dog CBD on a daily basis, then you may notice that they are not as anxious when they hear loud noises.  A study found this to be true, when researchers administered CBD dog treats to canines and noticed that they were less reactive to sudden, loud sounds.

The Bottom Line: Every Dog is Different 

Every dog is unique, and each dog may deal with stressors like fireworks differently.  The bottom line is that if your dog is showing symptoms of anxiety during a fireworks display, it’s important to make them feel safe and secure while respecting their personal needs, whether that be to run away and hide or to get extra affection out of their owner.  

Of course, you can also consider incorporating Chill Paws CBD into their daily routine, as this has been proven to have a positive impact on a dog’s stress levels, especially when exposed to loud noises like fireworks.  While we can’t prevent our dogs from getting distressed, we can support them in all kinds of ways to minimize the impact.

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