Comforting your pets dealing with noise phobia during the 4th of July fireworks

NOW: Comforting your pets dealing with noise phobia during the 4th of July fireworks

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. -- Fourth of July weekend is just around the corner, and if you’re planning on holding a private firework show at home, that ‘boom” sound may terrify and overwhelm your pets.

It’s called noise phobia, and Associate Veterinarian, Dr. Kent Morton at Kryder Veterinary Clinic said cats and dogs can respond differently to it.

Watching a firework show or setting one off at home is a tradition for many, especially during Independence Day. But, while we may enjoy the loud boom and sparkly flashing light, some pets get anxious.

Dr. Morton said noise phobia is an irrational fear that results in dogs trying to escape or avoid the sound. Dogs will typically pace around the room, be a little jumpier, shaking and trembling, they’ll hide, maybe even bark and some will try to run away.

For cats, it’ll look a little different, Dr. Morton said they tend to hide and suffer more silently.

“Remember dogs and cats have increased sound reception. They hear two times more frequencies and up to four times further away,” Dr. Morton said.

If you see your pet hiding or shaking when hearing loud noises, there are ways to calm them and keep them safe. Dr. Morton said pet owners can create a safe space that will make your pet feel comfortable, use calming aids like Adaptil or Feelaway, or wrap them using an anti-anxiety wrap like a thunder shirt. Dr. Morton said Thunder shirts create the illusion of swaddling. He also recommends informing your neighbors that your pet is noise sensitive.

“More often than not, people who have pets with noise phobia aren’t really setting off a lot of fireworks, because they know it impacts their pet. But, telling your neighbors is a really big consideration," Dr. Morton said.

Noise phobia can develop in any dog or cat and at any age. Dr.Morton said if nothing seems to work, go to a vet.

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