Pets fear of thunder and other loud noises is very real and affects even large dog breeds
Frightened by thunder this pet is unsure where to hide
Sheltering together helps reduce small pets fear of thunder and other loud noises
Sheltering together during a storm helps ease pets fear of thunder and other loud noises

Because of their acute sense of hearing, pets fear of thunder and other loud noises is something we must not forget.

Let me ask you to recall for a moment how a thunderclap sounds in the distance, then when it is not too far away, and then when it’s right up close. Now imagine you are a dog. How would you feel? Very scared, right? Even desperate if you already have a phobia of sudden and intense sounds.

That’s why humans need to be very aware of the impact that all loud noises have on our companion animals and take the necessary precautions to keep them safe.


Irrespective of breed and genetic programming, the behavior of any dog can be affected by a terrifying physical and emotional experience that a pet parent may or may not have prior knowledge of. This is actually an emotional disorder similar to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder experienced by humans.

While breeds such as Rottweilers and Boxers are less likely to suffer panic attacks, studies show that others like Australian Shepherds and Border Collies are more prone to suffering extreme anxiety due to any type of loud noise.


Much more frequent than the fireworks phenomenon is the frightening noise of thunder. Even before humans and animals hear the first thunder clap, pets, not humans, can sense changes in barometric pressure, electrostatic disturbances and the smells associated with storms.


Some dogs and cats suffer from fear phobia which is caused by memories associated with previous traumatic events. So, in addition to being scared of thunder, pets will react to other loud noises, which can include the following:


a car backfiring 

a door slamming 

an electric lawnmower or leaf blower 

a smoke alarm 


police sirens

So, let’s be more aware and think not so much about us…but about them.

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!  


Humans celebrate but pets react with fear

Here in the USA, this proven fact is repeated over and over again…more companion animals are reported missing the day after July the 4th and New Year’s Eve than at any other time of year. The reason: fire crackers and fireworks.

The noise of fireworks is absolutely terrifying to pets whose sensitivity to sound is far greater than ours. Cats will run as fast as possible and look frantically for the nearest hiding spot that is dark and as far away from the noise as possible. A dog’s reaction can vary from freezing, howling and urinating to flight mode, during which time they can seriously injure themselves.

What Pets Do When They Feel Threatened
Felines – Once a cat is well hidden from view, it will likely remain invisible for up to 24 or 36 hours and not leave her safe place, even for food.

Canines – They are a lot more complicated and react in a variety of ways. For example:
* escape a yard by digging under, or jumping over, a fence
* chew restraints and enclosures
* crash through windows and glass doors
* look for his guardian/protector
* ignore commands if the owner is present
* get spooked and run away if he is being leash-walked at the time

Safety First
– Keep your pets inside, close all windows and doors, until you are certain the threat is over.
– Ensure they have a visible tag, as well as a microchip or a digital I.D. tag.
– Give your dog a bathroom break well before the celebration begins.
– Prepare a space indoors where Fido and Fluffy feel safe…laundry room, covered crate, with their favorite blanket and toy.

Try This
Give your dog a good exercise session. When he is both physically and mentally exhausted, his anxiety level will drop.
Similarly, your cat will be less stressed if you give her a physically and mentally challenging play session.

More Tips To Share
If you’d like me to share more tips (white noise, pheromones, pressure wraps…), please send me a comment.

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!