Fireworks are one of the most popular ways to celebrate holidays such as New Year’s Eve or Independence Day.
But for dogs, fireworks don’t just bring happiness — they also cause fear and pain.
So what is it about fireworks that make them so frightening?
Dogs have a much higher sense of hearing than humans, and the loud noises from firework explosions can be extremely painful and scary for them.
The Science Behind Dogs and Fireworks
In this article, we’ll look at why dogs can be so sensitive to loud noises.
Dogs and Their Sensitive Hearing
Dogs have a much higher sense of hearing than humans.
In fact, their hearing is ten times more sensitive than ours.
This high sensitivity means that they can hear sound at frequencies that we cannot.
For example, the average human cannot hear sounds above 20,000 hertz (Hz).
However, a dog can hear up to 100,000 Hz.
The frequency range between 20,000 and 100,000 Hz is known as the ultrasonic range, and this is where most of the noise in fireworks comes from.
In addition to being able to hear sounds that we cannot, dogs have other special abilities that help them detect danger.
They are very good at picking up on subtle changes in the environment around them, which helps them avoid trouble.
For instance, if you are walking through a forest with your dog and you notice that there are no leaves on any of the trees, then you know that there must be something wrong.
This ability helps dogs avoid predators like wolves.
Another important aspect of dogs’ hearing is that they have highly developed senses of smell and taste.
These senses allow dogs to identify food sources, as well as people and other animals who may pose a threat to them.
But while these senses help dogs survive, they can sometimes lead to problems when it comes to fireworks.
Dogs and Their Fear of Loud Noises
When you first meet a dog, one of its biggest fears may be loud noises.
That’s because the dog was bred to live in an environment where the sounds of nature were constantly present.
For instance, when wild animals were around, the barking of a neighbor’s dog would never raise any alarm.
This ability to hear even the slightest noise has helped dogs survive thousands of years.
Nowadays, if there’s a firework display going off in your neighborhood, your dog will probably be terrified by the noise.
In fact, some dogs will react this way even when they’re inside their home with no other noise sources nearby.
So why do dogs hate loud noises?
It all comes down to how our ears work.
We’ve already discussed how dogs hear better than we do.
However, that doesn’t mean they can’t hear quieter noises than us!
The actual mechanism behind how they hear is called the cochlea.
This little organ is located in the inner ear, which helps the brain interpret sound waves into information.
It consists of three parts:
The bony outer shell
This is made up of tiny bones covered in skin.
These are known as otic capsules.
They help protect the inner part of the cochlea, the spiral-shaped organ that contains hair cells (which are sensitive to sound).
The fluid-filled middle chamber
This is filled with liquid and acts as a bridge between the outer and inner chambers of the cochlea.
Sound waves enter through the outer capsule and travel through the liquid until they reach the hair cells at the bottom of the spiral-shaped organ.
Then, the motion of the liquid pushes the hair cells against each other, stimulating them to send signals to the brain via the auditory nerve.
The inner chamber
This is where the nerve endings are.
When the hair cells become stimulated, the nerve endings release neurotransmitters that transmit the signal to the brain.
The brain then interprets these impulses as sound.
Dogs and Their Fear of Bright Lights
The first thing you need to know about dogs and bright lights is that their eyesight is far better than ours.
This means that when you look at your dog, he’ll see his surroundings in much more detail than we do.
This includes the colors and patterns of our clothes, the shapes of objects around us, and even the way our hair looks.
In addition, dogs’ vision is much more sensitive to light than ours.
In fact, dogs can detect things that are invisible to us, like movement, heat, and sound.
The combination of these two factors makes fireworks very frightening for dogs.
Bright lights mean danger!
When you think about it, this is the only logical explanation for why dogs hate firework displays.
After all, there is nothing scarier than being startled by a sudden burst of light.
For example, if you come home to find your dog running away from your house with its tail between its legs, you might immediately assume that someone has walked into the yard and frightened him.
You’d probably start calling out to him, but he wouldn’t stop until you came to investigate.
And once you got close enough to see the source of his terror, you’d find yourself staring down the barrel of an enormous gun.
But how could something that’s completely harmless to people scare a dog so badly?
How to Help Your Dog During Fireworks Season
First, let us look at why dogs hate fireworks.
1. They’re Loud
If you’ve ever been to a large city during the summer time, you know how noisy the traffic becomes on the streets.
The noise from the cars, trucks, and buses makes it difficult to hear each other speak.
It’s even worse in the summer when the air conditioners are blasting away and the windows are closed.
The noise level from fireworks is similar.
Even if you’re inside your house, you can still hear the explosions outside.
This means that the dog will likely bark and become very agitated.
In fact, many people report their dogs barking uncontrollably after being startled by fireworks.
2. They’re Bright
When you see fireworks exploding, they are often bright, white, and dazzlingly colorful.
Dogs are naturally drawn to things that are bright and shiny.
When something shines brightly, it catches the attention of our eyes quickly and easily.
What this means is that your dog will likely become more alert and start looking around for danger.
3. They Sound Like Gunshots
Many of us in America consider fireworks to be harmless fun.
However, fireworks do not always explode in a safe manner.
Sometimes they go off prematurely, causing the sky to light up with bright colors and loud sounds.
If you happen to live near an area where there are lots of fireworks displays, then you may be able to smell the smoke from the firecrackers.
Many people say that the smell of burning wood is quite pleasant compared to the smell of burning gunpowder.
However, if you live somewhere where lots of fireworks are stored, then you should keep your dog indoors while the fireworks are set off.
You should also keep him on a leash until the display has ended.
Remember that fireworks can hurt dogs’ paws, and you want to protect your pet from any injuries.
4. They Can Cause Burns
One of the dangers associated with fireworks is that they can cause burns.
For instance, if you were to take a piece of paper out of your pocket and hold it next to a flame, you would notice that the paper starts to burn.
This happens because the flames heat the surface of the paper, which causes the cellulose fibers to begin to break down.
Similarly, when you throw a stick into the fireplace or light a match, the flame heats up the dry surface of the matchstick.
As the matchstick gets hotter, its surface begins to break apart, which causes a chemical reaction that produces carbon dioxide gas.
This gas forms tiny particles called aerosols (or “particulates”) that get blown into the surrounding air.
These aerosol particles are small enough to enter the lungs and get absorbed into the bloodstream through the mucous membranes.
Once these particles reach the blood stream, they travel throughout the body and eventually end up in the brain.
This process is known as pulmonary aspiration.
Pulmonary aspiration in dogs is also possible.
When a dog inhales aerosol particles, they get stuck in his trachea and end up getting sucked into his airway.
This can lead to respiratory distress and even death.
To avoid this possibility, never leave your dog alone with fireworks.
Instead, keep him safely enclosed in the house until the display has finished.
Also, keep him on a leash whenever he goes out.
And remember to wash his muzzle thoroughly afterwards.
5. They Can Cause Eye Damage
Besides their ability to cause burns to your dog’s skin and lungs, fireworks can also damage his eyes.
If a dog looks directly at a burst of color, it can actually cause permanent eye damage.
This is because the intense light from the explosion can temporarily blind the dog.
This is especially true for dogs who suffer from glaucoma.
If you own a dog who suffers from glaucoma, then you should keep him indoors during the night before the fireworks display.
He should also stay indoors for at least 24 hours after the display ends.
In case you missed our article on how to teach your dog not to jump on people, here’s the link: How To Teach A Dog Not To Jump On People.
There are many reasons why dogs hate fireworks.
The noises they produce are often too high-pitched for them to hear.
They’re also very bright and can cause intense eye damage.
However, there is more to it than that. It’s also due to the fact that when the dog hears fireworks, it perceives them as an attack.
This causes it to react with a fight or flight response, which in turn makes it extremely nervous.
When this happens, it usually becomes aggressive toward its owner or other animals nearby.
If these fears and reactions become extreme enough, it could lead to aggression or even violence.