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Why Are Fireworks Harmful to Pets?

Plus ways to prepare your pet to navigate through them

Animals are gifts from heaven, who provide us with unconditional love, companionship, healing, and lessons to be learned. Therefore, they should be treated as if they are one of our children who, in order to thrive, have safety and emotional needs. Below are four reasons they have severe reactions to fireworks.

  1. Pets can hear four times farther away than humans and they can hear up to 50,000 vibrations per second, whereas humans can only hear sounds that vibrate up to 20,000 vibrations per second. Their ears are extremely sensitive and can be damaged depending on their distance to the fireworks.
  1. It affects their fight or flight response which is an automatic physiological reaction to an event that is perceived as stressful or frightening. The nervous system triggers a stress response that prepares the body to fight or flee. Their natural reaction is to run and hide, but this often puts them at greater risk. They are unable to determine where the noise is coming from and they soon become disoriented.
  1. They don’t have the capacity to understand that fireworks are for human pleasure and that we love the colorful displays of awe and wonder. To animals, these are unnatural noises, sounds, and flashes of light that are perceived as a danger, which is true for our Veterans who experience PTSD from the war. 
  1. The unpredictable noises are identified as a threat. Most pets are aware of when a thunderstorm is coming—even hours away—due to the pressure change and wind but fireworks have no warning signs.

The above is true for all animals. Their nature is to be on high alert to protect themselves from danger. Therefore, we must properly take care of their needs; both physically and emotionally.

A few suggestions to assist pets during these stressful times are:

  • Don’t leave them home alone and keep them indoors
  • Physical touch is comforting
  • Provide a safe place they can hide, whether it’s in a covered crate, under a blanket, or in a closet
  • Use a Thundershirt, which provides relaxation to their pressure points and gives them a feeling of safety—as if they are being swaddled like a newborn baby.
  • Use CBD Oil or calming treats, although oftentimes these are a hit or miss depending on the individual pet, so testing ahead of time is required.
  • Make sure they are wearing their collar and ID, this way you can contact the local shelters if they do run away.

The last suggestion is to provide them with a Healing Touch for Animals session. As a certified practitioner, I did an experiment last year on nine dogs with different levels of anxiety and stress relating to fireworks. I’m happy to report that none of them had any adverse reactions during the Fourth of July fireworks. The owners were amazed and even the most anxious dog of them all slept right through the overwhelming noises!

Healing Touch for Animals is energy work that assists pets with their emotions without medications. It balances their energy and relaxes their muscles, releases anxiety, increases endorphins, and—most importantly—your pet becomes grounded, which limits their fear level and their likelihood to flee. 

The best thing you can do for your pet is to plan ahead in order to prevent them from harming themselves or others. Animals under distress are not able to rationalize their actions and may put themselves in harm’s way or cause other accidents.

We would never let our children experience this frightening event by themselves, so why would we expect our pets to cope without our assistance too.

For more information related to Healing Touch for Animals, contact the author, Maureen Hollmeyer who can either come to your home or provide a distance session.


Maureen Hollmeyer is a Healing Touch for Animals Certified Practitioner located in Cincinnati, OH. In addition to her Healing Touch work, she provides spiritual counseling, and sells her Angel jewelry at Native Moon Apothecary. Maureen is also a published author and Licensed Social Worker experienced in working with abused and neglected children. Her website is: https://maureen-hollmeyer.com/

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