Be aware that even large dogs can get scared of thunder and other loud noises
Frightened by thunder this pet is unsure where to hide

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.

Fearful of thunder and other loud noises these small dogs shelter together in their safe space
Sheltering together during a storm helps ease pets fear of thunder and other loud noises


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:

  • gunshots 
  • a car backfiring 
  • a door slamming 
  • an electric lawnmower or leaf blower 
  • a smoke alarm, and
  •  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!  

On this same topic, I recommend you also read about coping with fireworks:


Humans celebrate but hundreds of terrified pets flee fireworks and go missing
Humans celebrate but hundreds of terrified pets flee fireworks and go missing

Here in the USA, on the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve, hundreds of terrified pets flee fireworks and fire crackers. As a  result, it’s on the day after each of these festive events that more companion animals are reported missing than at any other time of the year. This is a proven fact which is repeated over and over again. 

The noise that these projectiles make is traumatizing to pets due to the fact that their 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 it can get seriously injured. This fireworks phobia causes runaway pets and, unfortunately, many of them never get reunited with their guardians again.

What Pets Do When They Feel Threatened

Because extreme fear triggers extreme behavior, pets become traumatized by fireworks, fire crackers, and other excruciating noises. And, if you want to know what they do when they feel threatened, here are some examples.

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 different ways. For example, they will:

  • 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 Tips Stop Runaways

We know that a phobia of fireworks causes pets to run away but there are things you can do to prevent that from happening. Here’s how.

  • 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.

Reduce Stress From Fireworks Phobia

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. Consequently, your pets’ fireworks phobia will usually lessen and become more manageable.

To Sum Up

There are some other tips I can share with you on how to help reduce noise trauma during crucial dates like these. They include white noise, pheromones, pressure wraps and so on. If you’re interested, please send me a comment.

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

On this same topic, I recommend you also read about coping with thunder: