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Here Comes the Boom!

Why Are Some Pets Afraid of Fireworks?  

“It can be the smell. It can be the noise and the flashes of the light,” says Woodstown, New Jersey-based Dr. Judy Morgan, DVM, 

Your dog may “tremble, shake, shiver, howl, and bark — some of them get frantic.”

How to know if your pup is stressed? 

There are a number of warning signs to indicate that your pet has fear or anxiety towards fireworks:

  • Trembling or shaking

  • Restlessness, such as pacing

  • Destructiveness

  • Hiding

  • Panting or lip smacking

  • Attention seeking behavior

  • Whining or barking

  • Trying to escape

  • Loss of house training

  • Unwilling to go outside after hearing fireworks

  • Vomiting or diarrhea

Many cats are afraid of the loud noises that fireworks make. The sudden bangs, whooshes and flashes of light can feel like a threat that might cause them harm, and their natural response is to run away and hide somewhere safe.


How to prevent a stressful fireworks experience for your pets?

Keep them away from fireworks events

Don’t leave them outside during fireworks shows

Make a safe haven for them to chill in before, during and after 

Create a SAFE haven with alternate sounds, anti-anxiety tools, a feel good environment, and exercise. 


Turn on a fan, TV, sound machine or some music to help mask the sounds of the fireworks. 

“There’s some classical music called ‘Through a Dog’s Ear’ that has been shown to have calming effects for dogs,” says Jenn Stanley, certified behavior consultant and professional dog trainer.

To help them desensitize to the sound of fireworks, get them used to listening to that particular sound. Download a recording of fireworks and play it slowly over time in preparation for the event. Simulate the sound and play it at different levels of volumes, then taking breaks with intermittent moments of silence. 

“One of the best ways to keep your cat calm during fireworks is to get them used to the sound – from a young age, if possible,” says Dr Julie Ashton, veterinary behaviorist.

Anti- anxiety Tools

Dress them in a snug fitting shirt or anxiety vest.

Veterinarian Lindsay Butzer, DVM, says that by applying constant pressure, anxiety vests are able to relieve anxiety and induce a calming effect for nervous pups.

Feel good environment

Provide a feel-good space for your pet away from windows and doors. Make this space in an interior room, if possible and stay close to them and/or check on them to keep them feeling comforted. If not possible, keep the curtains and blinds closed. 

If your pet is regularly crated or uses a carrier to sleep, placing a blanket over the crate or carrier can keep the space dimly lit and more calming.

Surround them with their favorite toys, blankets and comfort objects.   

“If you make a feel-good space for your cat, but they choose not to be there, don’t force it. They might have chosen their own space, and that’s absolutely fine to do,” says Dr. Julie.

Make sure your cat’s space has easy access to their food, water and litter box. 

Give your pets their favorite treats in moderation. CBD Chews and treats help relieve excess anxiety and give them something else to focus on. Make sure to feed them prior to the event so they have plenty of time to digest. 

At Pets On The Bay, we recommend Penelope’s Bloom CBD treats and chews for anxiety and stress. Our family shop dog, Daisy, loves the CBD infused peanut butter!


Walk them before the event to make sure they relieve themselves and get plenty of exercise to help them feel sleepy and content. 

This 4th of July, here’s to creating a stress-free fireworks night for you and your pets!  

Some information for this blog courtesy of American Kennel Association, ASPCA,, and

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