“I love fireworks” said no dog ever.
I consider it a cruel irony that the things I love most about fireworks – the sudden flashes, bright colours and echoing blasts – are the same things that make my best friend want to run and hide. While fun for humans, the loud, unexpected sounds of fireworks cause stress and anxiety for most dogs. As Canada Day approaches, here are some facts on why fireworks make dogs anxious and tips to help you keep the experience calm.
Fireworks are scary for dogs for a number of reasons. The bright lights and booming sounds would be scary by themselves, but these lights and sounds appear out of nowhere and disappear again not to be seen for another 12 months. Unlike humans, dogs don’t know that Canada Day is coming. They aren’t expecting fireworks so the experience is quite startling. Though many dogs are afraid of thunder, thunderstorms actually come with way more warning than a fireworks show. Things like changes in barometric pressure and high winds help dogs, so many dogs are better able to anticipate them. Since fireworks are sudden and occur less frequently than thunderstorms, dogs can be even more stressed by them. Even dogs that are usually calm in noisy, crowded situations can react to a firework display.