Many dog owners dread New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July for one reason: fireworks. Some dogs bark relentlessly at them, others cower in fear, and some don’t seem to be too bothered at all. Regardless of your dog’s reaction to these celebratory explosions, you have likely asked yourself at one time or another: do fireworks hurt dogs ears?
Fireworks could hurt your dog’s ears if they are close enough to them. Dogs too close to fireworks may experience harmful decibel levels which could cause permanent hearing loss.
This article will explain why fireworks could hurt your dog’s ears in certain situations. We will also be explaining some ways that you can calm your dog down during firework shows in a safe way, along with some other things you should consider.
4 Reasons Fireworks Hurt Your Dog’s Ears
There are four main ways that fireworks could hurt your dog’s ears. Of course, most of these will require that your dog is relatively close to fireworks that are going off. However, your dog’s fear response to fireworks could happen anywhere, so it is essential to stay vigilant when fireworks go off outside.
Fireworks Are Very Loud
Dogs have excellent hearing. Therefore, loud sounds can hurt their ears. When it comes to fireworks and firecrackers, humans even complain that their ears hurt when being near them from time to time, so you can only imagine how dogs feel in similar situations.
Fireworks Emit High Decibel Sounds
Another reason why fireworks can hurt dogs’ ears is that they emit sounds at high decibels. Fireworks can reach up to 190 decibels, about 110 to 115 decibels higher than humans can hear. Hearing very loud, high-pitched sounds can hurt dogs’ ears.
It Could Cause Permanent Hearing Loss For Your Dog
Having your dog close to fireworks as they are going off could cause them to develop permanent hearing loss. This is due to both how high-pitched the sounds it emits can be and how loud it is. Therefore, when it comes to firework shows, it is best to keep your dog inside.
Dogs Could Do Harm To Themselves As A Response
Dogs cannot rationalize why these sudden, loud sounds are going off, and many dogs respond negatively to them. In some cases, their fear response could lead to them accidentally harming themselves when in a state of panic and fear.
As a result, it is always a good idea to stay home with your dog during these times and make arrangements to make their environment as calm as possible before the fireworks start.
How Do I Calm My Dog Down During Fireworks
There are many things that you can do to calm your dog down during fireworks. You can optimize your chances of a calm dog by doing several of these things at once. Here are eight ways that you can calm your dog down during fireworks.
Provide Them With A Safe Quiet Space
Providing your dog with a safe, quiet place indoors is a fundamental thing that you can do to keep your dog calm during firework shows. This makes it less likely that the fireworks will hurt their ears and that they will do harm to themselves as a result of extreme fear. It reduces the chances of them escaping as well.
You could do desensitization training if your dog’s fear of fireworks is becoming a big problem. However, this should be done exceptionally carefully over time, and it is done best with the help of a qualified dog trainer.
To do this training, all you need is a recording of fireworks and some treats. Play the recording at an extremely low volume to start, and give your dog his favorite treat every time the sound goes off. Then slowly increase the volume over time.
It is important to remember that this training aims to avoid getting your dog stressed out. If he starts to seem anxious or stressed when you turn up the volume, you should turn it back down to where it was before and practice a little more. It would be best if you gave your dog a treat every time fireworks go off as well for the best outcome.
Give Your Dog A Distraction
Of course, it always helps to give your dog a distraction during potentially stressful times. The best options for these are their favorite chew or food stuffed toys because these will keep them busy for an extended amount of time.
Put On Music Or The TV
Putting on some music or the TV will help drown out the sound of the fireworks. This helps to distract dogs and keep them calm.
Give Your Dog A Thundershirt
A thundershirt works as a makeshift swaddle for dogs. This has been proven to reduce dogs’ anxiety during stressful events such as firework shows and thunderstorms. You could buy one or make your own!
Put On An Ear Protector Made For Dogs
There are ear protectors that are specially made for dogs. They go over the ears and work the same as noise-canceling headphones do, minus sound coming from them, of course. Their design ensures your dog’s safety while also keeping them calm.
Ensure Your Dog Gets Enough Exercise The Day Of
To avoid having an energetic and anxious dog, it helps give them a good amount of exercise during the day if you know that fireworks will be going off that night. This, paired with other calming techniques on this list, may even lead to your dog taking a nap when the fireworks are happening.
Anti-Anxiety Medications May Help Your Dog
For extra anxious dogs, anti-anxiety medication might be what you need to truly calm your dog down.
If no other calming techniques have worked for you, it is recommended to visit your vet and ask about anti-anxiety medication. You can give these to them before stressful events or every day, depending on your situation and vet’s advice.
Do Fireworks Traumatize Dogs
Fireworks can cause a dog to develop a phobia or even PTSD depending on how traumatic their experience was. To make matters worse, dogs cannot rationalize these fears. As a result, you may need additional help from a vet or veterinary behaviorist to safely and effectively treat your dog.
Why Do Fireworks Scare Dogs So Bad
Fireworks can scare dogs, especially if they have developed a phobia of them or are prone to anxiety in general. For dogs who are easily scared by fireworks, you should do several things to calm your dog, stay home with them, and talk to a vet or veterinary behaviorist if necessary. –
Can I Put Cotton Balls In My Dog’s Ears For Fireworks
You could put cotton balls in your dog’s ears as a temporary solution. However, it is not the best option, especially if you do not know how to correctly put cotton balls in your dog’s ears. To prevent damage to your dog’s ears, it is suggested to get ear protectors made for dogs.
Are There Dog Ear Muffs For Fireworks
Yes, there are dog ear protectors for dogs. These are great because they can be worn safely for an extended amount of time and effectively muffling the sound of fireworks.
How Can I Protect My Dogs Ears From Fireworks
You can protect your dog’s ears from fireworks by staying inside with all doors and windows closed whenever fireworks are going off. If this is not possible, then it is highly recommended to get your dog-ear protectors made for dogs.
It is important to know signs of extreme fear and anxiety in dogs. This will help you to know when you should act on your dog’s fears to prevent the situation from getting worse. Similarly, it is vital to know the signs of hearing loss in dogs.
The following are some common signs of anxiety in dogs:
● Drooling and lip licking
● Excessive yawning
● Pacing or circling
● Having a fearful posture: tail between legs, ears flattened, appears to be cowering
● Excessive chewing
● Having wide eyes (with whites of the eye showing)
● Having an accident
● Sudden onset of aggressive behavior: Growling, snarling, biting
● Excessive barking or howling
Signs of Hearing Loss in Dogs
The following are some common signs of hearing loss in dogs:
● Not able to be woken up by sounds
● Completely unresponsive or less responsive to being called
● Completely unresponsive or less responsive to verbal cues
● Completely unresponsive or less responsive to everyday sounds that he used to respond to (examples: dogs barking, food bag rustling, the doorbell)