Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Fear of fireworks Owner Factsheet

Firework fear is a common problem in dogs and although it appears to be rare in cats, it is thought that they can often be afraid of fireworks too. Fear behaviour in cats is often more subtle (eg retreating and hiding) and may go unnoticed. However, hiding is an adaptive response for cats and allowing them to hide when they are stressed can make them feel better.

It is not surprising that animals are scared of fireworks since they are very loud (up to 150 decibels). Sounds this loud can be physically painful as well as inducing fear. The noise from fireworks also lacks a clear pattern, with the source of the noise not identifiable and sounds occurring in short repeated bursts - the unpredictable nature of the sounds can make even normal animals react fearfully. Animals may become more sensitive with repeated exposures to the noise. In some animals a true phobia exists and these animals cannot get worse with time since they are always fully reactive to the noise.

What is a fireworks fear?

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Why does my pet have a fear of fireworks?

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What can be done to help my pet?

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