Helping Your Pets Cope with Fireworks

The veterinarians at Sycamore Vet are experts in their fields when it comes to safeguarding a pet’s health and comfort.

While humans flock to fireworks shows to marvel at the lights and noise, dogs often have unpleasant physical reactions to sudden loud noises, which can be quite traumatizing.

Every Fourth of July weekend, the Conrad family has an annual neighborhood cookout. Their 11-year-old cocker spaniel/beagle mix, Buddy, loves the party. Running around the yard with the neighborhood children, burying stolen hot dogs in their hydrangea garden — it’s the perfect day for any dog.

However, Independence Day always leads to a perilous night for Buddy. Despite his calm, friendly demeanor during the day, Buddy becomes very stressed, anxious, and clingy as soon as the evening fireworks display begins. Misunderstanding the loud, unexpected noises and flashes of light, Buddy paces around the yard and becomes uncharacteristically nervous. Last year, he even jumped the fence and spent several hours lost in the neighborhood.

According to Sycamore Vet’s Dr. Christina Martin, Buddy, who is one of her patients, isn’t the only pup who isn’t fond of fireworks or other loud situations, like summer storms.

“This is a common issue for many dog owners, and we actually have a name for it — canine noise aversion,” said Martin, a practicing veterinarian in the Midlothian community for more than 15 years. “While humans flock to fireworks shows to marvel at the lights and noise, dogs often have unpleasant physical reactions to sudden loud noises, which can be quite traumatizing.”

Canine noise aversion is a term veterinarians use to express a wide spectrum of a dog’s anxiety and fear-based behaviors associated with…

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