Is Your Dog Afraid of Fireworks? + 10 Tips for Celebrations


Translated by Nick R

In many celebrations, like Christmas or new year, many people use fireworks or pyrotechnics to have fun. Dogs don’t have such a good time with such spectacles, which might even cause them a heart attack.

So, if your dog is afraid of fireworks, read on to find out how to calm him down in this situation.

Why are dogs afraid of fireworks? 

Dogs have much better hearing than us and therefore more sensitive. For your understanding, we humans hear from 16,000 to 20,000 Hz (Hertz) and dogs hear from 10,000 to 50,000 Hz, plus they can hear 4 times farther than us. Thus, it’s natural for dogs to be frightened by loud noises such as pyrotechnics, trying to run away since they don’t know what’s going on.

You can also consider training whistles for dogs. They have an imperceptible sound for us but dogs hear it perfectly.

However, while some dogs will feel terror when they hear such loud noises, which can harm them both physically and psychologically, others will act completely normal, not caring a bit about the sound of gunpowder.

That’s why a puppy needs to be exposed to different stimuli (including many different noises in the street) during its socialization stage in order to avoid phobias when it grows older.

Pyrotechnics are very loud for dogs’ ears, so even if you can get them used to different noises, they may still be afraid of fireworks. As an example, my dog is not afraid of fireworks, but my cousin’s dog is even afraid of thunder due to its loud noise.

How can fireworks affect a dog’s health? 

As I said before, this phobia of pyrotechnics can cause great damage to the canine and this is why campaigns have been carried out to cease fireworks celebrations (especially during the New Year’s Eve celebrations).

So, problems can range from:

  • First of all, they can feel the urge to run away and this can make them escape and get lost ( even cross the street and have an accident).
  • They may get physically injured while trying to run away.
  • The dog(s) may become aggressive, even with their family, when they feel trapped.
  • They may have a heart attack and die from panic.

Signs your dog is afraid of pyrotechnics 

Your dog definitely has a phobia of fireworks if, the moment they start, he begins to pant excessively, whine, whimper or cry, seems disoriented, drools, seems to have difficulty breathing, has a racing heart (tachycardia), trembles or hyperventilates.

He may also be aggressive or try to run away from the noise.

What should I do to calm my dog during fireworks? 

Now, if your dog is afraid of loud noises like pyrotechnics you can do the following to try to calm him down:

Anti-fireworks bandage or Tellington method. 

Some people recommend this method that consists in wrapping the dog with cloth bands which are said to calm him down as he feels compressed. However, there is insufficient research to prove its effectiveness and it can even worsen the situation in some cases since the dog will feel tied up and helpless to escape.

Here is an explanation of the technique if you want to try it, but it doesn’t work for all dogs.

Set up your house 

Try to soundproof your home as much as possible. Close the windows and curtains and take your canine to a quiet room away from the outside noise.


You can set up a place for your dog to hide using a crate, cage or his carrier (if he has one) and arrange it so that it has a dim light. You can also put some comfortable blankets and his favorite toys to make him feel as comfortable as possible.


To cover the noises coming from outside, play some classical music to calm your furry friend. In a study by the University of Belfast, they observed how music can influence the emotions and behavior of canines, and concluded that classical music is perfect to relax them.

Control your own emotions 

Dogs are very empathetic and if their owner is anxious or scared so will they. Always stay calm and act like nothing is going on.

In fact, it’s not recommended to pet your pet or change your tone of voice to try to “calm him down” as this action will only reassure your dog that something is wrong.

Plan ahead 

If you know there will be fireworks that day, you can plan what to do, for example, if there will be fireworks near your house at a certain time you can leave your home and go somewhere else until the fireworks are over.

Exercise beforehand 

You can also walk and exercise with your canine before the fireworks so that by the time he gets home, he will have released all his energy and will be more relaxed.

Always together 

Don’t leave your furry friend alone at home if you know there will be such events. He may need you both for moral support and to avoid accidents.

Use pheromones 

Pheromones can relax and calm dogs. Synthetic pheromones such as “Adaptil” mimic the pheromones that puppies’ mothers produce after giving birth and make canines feel safe and secure. They come in spray form and you can get them in veterinary stores or on the internet.


In case your dog’s fear is very serious, it could be necessary to medicate him; however, this must be done by a veterinarian doctor. Never give your pet medicine that has not been prescribed to him.

How to calm the fear of fireworks in dogs? 

Okay, now that you know how to calm your dog towards gunpowder, surely you don’t want him to be afraid of it forever, so here are some recommendations to work on this phobia with your canine and overcome it.

Adapt him to the sound 

Take your dog into a room in the house from time to time and play some fireworks sounds on YouTube at low volume. If he looks calm and relaxed, you can give him treats and reinforce this positive attitude with the sound of pyrotechnics. Then as you progress through therapy, gradually turn up the sound until he is no longer afraid of it.


If your pet is afraid of many noises (not only pyrotechnics), it is advisable to take him for walks in different places with varying amounts of stimuli, increasing and decreasing them so that he can get used to different noises.

For example, you can take him first to a place with few people and cars, such as a path or a remote park, then you can take him to more crowded streets and once he adapts well to this, you can even take him to a pet-friendly shopping mall.


You can contact a veterinarian or trainer to treat your dog’s problem.