Fireworks, Thunder, and Parties…Oh My! Battling Pet Noise Anxiety

A cat hiding in the shades

Summer means different things to different people – backyard barbeques, camping, trips to the lake, or a big family vacation may be on your agenda. For many pets, however, the warmest months are also the scariest. Thunderstorms, fireworks, and all the parties and gatherings can trigger a host of upsetting behaviors and put a real damper on everyone’s quality of life.

Pet noise anxiety can be a serious concern for pet owners. Prolonged periods of anxiety can be harmful to a pet’s health and wellness, and it can put them at risk for escape or injury. At Berkeley Veterinary Center, we’re a certified Fear Free practice, meaning we’re committed to reducing fear and stress in pets.

Keep reading to understand more about pet noise anxiety and how you can help your furry loved one remain calm and comfortable this summer.

Understanding Pet Noise Anxiety

An estimated 10 million dogs (and many cats) experience noise-related fear and anxiety. Look for the following signs that your pet is suffering:

  • Incessant barking, howling, or other vocalization
  • Chewing or scratching at doors or windows in an attempt to escape
  • House soiling
  • Hiding
  • Weight loss

Dealing with Thunderstorms, Fireworks, and Parties

Creating a calm atmosphere and making your pet feel comfortable are key to dealing with any type of anxiety. During a thunderstorm, fireworks display, or other noisy event, the following tips can be helpful:

  • Stay near your pet to offer reassurance and cuddles.
  • Distract your pet with a favorite game, toy, or calming treat.
  • Bring pets inside before a storm or fireworks display.
  • Use the radio, TV, fan, or white noise machine to muffle outside sounds.
  • Crate-trained pets may prefer to “hide” inside their crate or carrier. Other pets may feel better when they’re able to roam the house at will.
  • If possible, set up a “safe room” for your pet. Make sure to include their bedding, toys, food, and fresh water.
  • If you’re hosting a 4th of July gathering or will be gone for the day, consider finding an alternative place for your pet to stay, such as the home of a trusted friend or family member.
  • Consider using a Thundershirt or other pressure-based garment.
  • Synthetic pheromones like Adaptil (for dogs) and Feliway (for cats) can significantly reduce anxiety in pets.


The last thing you want is for your pet to escape during a time of loud noises and high stress, but sadly, this is all too common during fireworks and thunderstorm season. We recommend having your pet microchipped if you haven’t already, as this significantly increases the chance of being reunited with your pet should they go missing.

Please don’t hesitate to contact our team for more information or to schedule an appointment for your pet.

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