It can be a scary time

Fireworks, Thunder and Loud Noises

There are ways you can reduce this stress

Fear of loud noises, such as a firework display, is a very common phobia in both dogs and cats.

The sound of the fireworks will trigger your pet’s nervous system and they often try to run away from the noise, as a survival instinct.

Common signs to look out for that indicate your pet may be feeling anxious include the following:

  • Trembling or shaking
  • Clinging to their owner
  • Barking / meowing excessively
  • Panting or Drooling
  • Pacing around the house or restlessness
  • Cowering and hiding
  • Soiling themselves inside the house
  • Attempting to escape

There are ways you can reduce this stress:

  1. Be prepared! Stay informed about local events and festivities where fireworks might occur.
  2. If possible, bring your pet indoors well before the fireworks display begins.
  3. Take your dog to the toilet before locking it inside the house. If you have a cat, ensure there is kitty litter in the room.
  4. Provide your pet with a “safe” place. Make sure your pet has a secure area in which they can feel safe during the fireworks – such as a specific room in the home or a crate. It often helps to have some of your pet’s favourite treats available in this area. Ensure that there is no loose or dangerous items about that could be harmful to your pet if he/she panics.
  5. Make sure that all property fences, gates, windows and doors are secure so that your pet cannot readily escape.
  6. Ensure that your pet wears identification (i.e. a collar) and that all microchip information is up to date with your name, contact number and home address. This will give you the greatest chance of finding your pet in the unfortunate event of an escape.
  7. Diffusers (Adaptil, Feliway) are commercially available for at home use. These release an odourless pheromone that has a calming effect on most dogs and cats.
  8. Don’t use punishment! It is very important not to punish your pet for reacting in fear to the sound of fireworks. This will only make them more stressed and anxious.

In cases of severe phobias, the use of anti-anxiety and/or sedative medication may be useful to help minimise your pets suffering. These medications must be prescribed by one of our veterinarians and should be used in combination with a specific behaviour modification plan tailored to your pet.