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: https://petpeevesunmasked.com/pets-fear-thunder-loud-noises/