While some breeds of dogs may be more prone to fear of loud noises than others, it is more likely that temperament and past experience will influence a dog's sensitivity and reactivity. Dogs that have not been exposed to a variety of sounds or experiences—or rescue, shelter, and/or abused dogs with tough times in their pasts—are vulnerable to the fear of thunderstorms and fireworks, and are at risk for other scares, too!
If your pet is frightened by the loud noises associated with fireworks or thunderstorms, there are ways to make the experience less traumatic. Try these tips and tricks:Dogs can indicate their fear in a variety of ways, with symptoms ranging from minor to extreme. Some common symptoms of fear can include: shaking, whining, hiding, pacing, urinating or defecating, or destroying property or items that a dog might otherwise leave alone.
Even when a storm has passed or holiday fireworks have sizzled out, your pet may exhibit lingering effects of fear. Be patient and loving. While your pet may never be free from anxiety associated with thunderstorms or fireworks, a well-managed "loud event" may make the next event easier and less intense.
If your dog's fear of fireworks or thunderstorms seems extreme or is not mitigated in any way by these strategies or other efforts, consider a professional consultation. Your veterinarian or a credentialed behaviorist can offer additional strategies for aiding a pet that is truly suffering.
With a variety of options for helping your pet through scary storms and loud fireworks, the focus of the season can remain on pleasure and leisure. Happy summer!