(WFRV) – Loud noises are a usual occurrence around July 4, but could it be negatively impacting your pet? See if your pet is stressed and check out these helpful tips you can do to ease your pet’s mind during the holiday season.

According to Zoetis Inc., a producer of medicine and vaccinations for pets, loud sounds and noises like the bang of a firework can trigger anxiety and fear in animals. This can cause them to run away and hide. But what some owners may not know is their pet may be experiencing noise aversion.

What is noise aversion?

According to a peer-revied academic journal, noise aversion is similar to when humans experience panic attacks.

The Mayo Clinic described a panic attack as a sudden and intense fear that “triggers severe physical reactions when there is no real danger or apparent cause.” In this case, the cause is the loud noises of fireworks.

The clinic goes on to explain that when an attack happens, it can sometimes feel like you are losing control, having a heart attack, or even dying.

Two out of three dogs show signs of fear and anxiety when it comes to noise, reported the American Animal Hospital Association. It said this causes unneeded suffering and distress.

Out of these dogs, a study showed 81 percent reacted out of fear to the sound of fireworks.

Alarms, vacuums, and other loud noises can even trigger noise aversion.

Noise aversion warning signs

Henry’s Caring Heart Foundation (HCH), a nonprofit that helps provide pet financial aid grants to owners who are ‘financially strapped’ in IL, IN, and WI, explained your pet may have noise aversion if it is:

  • Panting excessively
  • Whimpering or keening (a long, high-pitched sound)
  • Showing signs of separation anxiety
  • Hiding
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Being destructive

How you can help your pet

The foundation has given the following tips to help your pet have a better time handling fireworks or loud noises during the 4th of July season.

  • Utilize white noise. The Sleep Foundation described white noise as “containing all frequencies across the spectrum of audible sound in equal measure.” If white noise doesn’t help, HCH said pink noise or brown noise may work.
  • Set up a safe place. Choose an insulated room and use soft bedding/favorite toys to create a relaxing space.
  • Be calm and collected during the fireworks. HCH reported if you have a relaxed attitude and are petting and cuddling your pet, it could give them a sense of security.
  • Weighted or Compression Vests. The compression and deep pressure of a weighted vest/blanket can release positive stress-reducing hormones like dopamine, explained HCH.
  • Distract them. Give your pet a new toy to give them a positive association for that day.
  • Boarding or pet-sitting. If the area you live in has a reputation for excessive fireworks, consider finding alternative accommodations for the time being.
  • Consider Medication. If you are worried about their health or safety, talk to your vet about prescribing mild sedation.

The biggest tip any article can give you is to just pay attention to your animal during the holiday season. If they are not behaving like normal, it’s time to troubleshoot.