Fireworks can cause stress and pain for pets. Here’s how to help

It’s that time of year when fireworks, both professional and amateur, fill the eyes and ears of Hoosiers celebrating Independence Day.

While most enjoy the sights and sounds, pets may need extra care at this time of year.

Dr. Candace Croney, director of Purdue University Animal Welfare Science and a professor of animal welfare and behavior, said some pets have a genetic tendency to be more fearful of loud noises.

A number of factors come into play: what is the dog used to from what he learned early in his life and what has he been exposed to? How scary are they based on genetics alone? Croney said. “It’s a combination of genetics and the environment they’re in.

Fireworks at one of three official 4th of July celebrations in Carmel on Saturday, July 4, 2020. As people gather in droves to witness the bright lights and loud booms, some pets may experience stress and anxiety.

While some dogs and cats may not be outwardly fearful during fireworks, others may show panic and anxiety. Croney suggests preparing before the bangs and bright lights start hitting pets.

How do fireworks affect pets?

Dogs and cats have different experiences than humans because their ability to perceive things is different. When it comes to hearing, dogs in particular can hear above and below normal human range and fireworks can be much louder for dogs.

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