The answer to why some dogs cower in fear of thunderstorms, fireworks

Published: Jul. 18, 2016 at 2:56 PM EDT
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For dog owners with anxious canines, the dog days of summer can be a tough time in their home.

"You want to be able to tell your animal this is fine, it's a storm, the storm will pass, but animals aren't able to comprehend that a lot of times," said Dr. Julie Vezzetti, veterinarian at Animal Medical Center - Marquette. "Even though they're very bright, a lot of times the anxiety kind of takes over."

Between thunderstorms and fireworks, dogs with noise phobia are exposed to a lot of booms.

Noise phobia can start at any age and can affect any breed.

"I think that it just depends on their personality," Vezzetti said. "Personalities are different across breeds, even within breeds so I don't think there's any predisposition with one dog versus another."

Symptoms of noise phobia in dogs include panting, pacing, drooling, hiding, shaking and barking. Dogs may also seek human company or try to escape the noise by running away.

"The most popular time for shelters to be busy are storm season and around fireworks, believe it or not, because those are the main times that dogs will run away just in fear," Vezzetti said.

If you know fireworks are going to be lit off or a storm is coming, bring your pets inside.

"That's the number one thing because like I had mentioned before, they can escape; they can run away," Vezzetti said. "Sometimes they don't associate the fact that the noise is coming from outdoors, and they actually want to run outdoors thinking they're running away from that noise."

Make sure your pet has a tag on them in the event that they do run away.