• Home
  • The Dos and Don’ts of Firework Phobias

The Dos and Don’ts of Firework Phobias

One summer’s night in my youth, my high school friends and I sat in a field, awaiting the start of a fireworks show. A burly group next to us had brought a young German Shepherd. As dusk fell, the dog sat happily while their group drank, smoked, and blasted rock music from their old van.

However, when the fireworks started, the previously friendly dog went into panic mode. It yanked its leash in every direction as it howled with terror.

The dog wasn’t the only one screaming. Without thinking, I found my naive self approaching their group. My friends looked on in disbelief as their typically agreeable friend yelled over the noise at this full grown man to take his poor dog home. Eventually, he dumped his beer in the grass and left with his pup.

These days, I take a much gentler approach to education. Summertime can be busy and it’s easy to forget how stressful our favourite activities can be for our furry family members. Here are some tips to help support our pets during these times:


  • Force your furry family member into stressful situations
  • Punish your dog or cat for being fearful.
  • Show your own stress. Pets pick up on tiny clues, so support them by acting as calm and normal as possible.


  • Start slowly by playing triggering sounds, such as fireworks or thunder, at a low volume while giving your pet treats. In the weeks leading up to the event, increase the volume as the pet will allow without showing signs of anxiety.
  • Ensure your pet’s ID and microchip information and tags are up to date, as many pets will try to escape during stressful events.
  • Create a comfortable environment. Allow them a private place to retreat, play calming music, use a pressure wrap, and use pheromone products to help reinforce their feelings of safety. If needed, reach out to your veterinarian in advance to discuss medication to help with their stress.
  • Maintain a normal schedule at home. Small changes may spur anxiety before the event even begins.

Now, I realize that no one brings their dog to a fireworks show with the intention of terrifying them. Like many of us, they simply want to share in everything that our glorious Ontario summers have to offer. However, with some consideration, we can ensure it’s a fun experience for everyone!

Dr. I. Wonder is here to answer your questions regarding your furry family members. If you have a question, email it to us at danielle@NeighbourhoodPetClinic.com. Our team at Neighbourhood Pet Clinic will tap into their collective experience to answer your various questions.


Questions? Comments? Contact us today!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

News Letter