Armidale Vet - Friendly and caring service for all your pets and working animals
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31st December 2015

While it's exciting and entertaining for us, for some dogs and cats Fireworks are a nightmare.

FIREWORKS can elicit the same response as a storm or noise phobia, and logically it's probably because of the loud noise, and deep vibrations (after all, we have no idea how a dog or cat hears fireworks, or thunder, or gunshots with their ultra sensitive hearing). Signs of distress include panting, pacing, drooling, wide pupils, hiding, escape attempts, destruction, whining and others. Cats will generally hide deep in the house, and may pant if severely distressed.

If you know your dog has a fireworks fear, it's best to either not leave him home alone as he may hurt himself in blind terror. Either be home with them, or house them temporarily far away from the source. Either way they must be provided with somewhere safe.

If you are keeping them home, play some loud music indoors, engage in simple play or obedience to distract, and if they still become fearful and wish to hide then provide them with a safe place to do so. If you know your animals gets severely distressed, we can dispense some anxiolytic medications to help them feel more chilled and be able to cope a little better but these must be administered and on board BEFORE the anxiety builds. 

We get a LOT of lost animals in after the fireworks, and a lot are really upset and some are hurt. So please help them; they don't understand what fireworks are and are experiencing deep distress and sometimes will injure themselves in escape attempts (ie. jumping fences or through windows, running onto roads and being hit).

For more management suggestions see the Storm Phobias article.