A dog with Fourth of July decor around them.

As a pet parent, you know the sounds your dog loves to hear the most—words like “treat” or “walk” are often winners. However, there are certain noises that pups can be sensitive to or downright scared of.

With summer holidays like the Fourth of July around the corner, it’s important to understand that the loud noises from fireworks can be distressing for many dogs. Managing your furry friend’s anxiety and making sure they remain calm can help them feel more at ease during these celebrations, so we’ve compiled helpful info on noise aversion and some tips to build your firework game plan.


An aversion to something often means having a dislike for or desire to avoid it. For dogs, noise aversion can often mean developing a fear response to certain loud noises (e.g., fireworks, thunder, cars, snowplows, etc.).

Keep in mind that not every dog has noise aversion—having a fear response to a loud noise can be just as normal as it is if you jump when hearing an unexpected loud noise. However, the signs that accompany their response and the amount of time they are affected can offer insight into whether your furry family member is experiencing something beyond a simple jump scare.

When a loud noise occurs, dogs typically jump, run, bark, shake, or tense up. But there are also subtle signs of stress such as dilated pupils, flattened ears, refusing to eat, lip licking, or panting. For some pups, these signs could last for several minutes to hours, depending on the severity of their noise aversion. Observing these types of responses can help further indicate whether they have a mild or severe case.

Untreated noise aversion can worsen over time, creating a behavioral response or habit. Tackling it as early in their life as possible is key, but if that’s not possible, discuss solutions with your veterinarian.

If you’ve determined your dog has mild noise aversion, try these tips at home before the next fireworks show…


Staying outside during a fireworks show can be a fun celebration for the humans in your family, but if your pup has noise aversion, they should stay inside where they feel safe and comfortable. Being at the source of the trigger is inadvisable, especially if they’re in an unfamiliar outdoor area and are prone to sprinting away during loud noises. If you discover your dog has a noise aversion for the first time, calmly remove them from the situation immediately and comfort them.

Creating a safe space at home could involve putting on distracting but calming background noise (such as white noise from a noise machine or fan), closing the shades to remove a potential visual trigger, providing some treats (if they’re willing to eat), giving them their toys, and ensuring they have access to their crate (with the door open) with their bed and blankets to offer comfort.

This space should not only be used during fireworks—your dog should first become accustomed to this safe and protected area of your home. Spend some time in this space beforehand so that they will associate it with a place to calm down.

Let your dog live their best life


If you know loud noises are imminent, such as an upcoming fireworks show, start playing your dog’s favorite activity that you know will keep them occupied. Mind-stimulating games, which often include treats, are great for this. Once the loud noise occurs, trying to distract could be a lot more difficult, so starting beforehand can often set you and your pup up for success.

It is important to keep in mind that when dogs develop a fear response to loud noises, they can also associate it to the space around them. That means if you’re playing with them during fireworks and their fear spikes, they could link playing that game to feeling fear. If the fear response develops during the game and you can’t get them to calm down, try another distraction instead.


You may already have a go-to playlist for specific moods or activities in your day, but does your dog have one? If not, now is the time to set it up! Listening to certain types of music can have a calming effect on some dogs, which can be great when you’re looking to distract and calm them during fireworks.

Various studies have found that certain types of music relax dogs. One study found that classical music can reduce agitation, while another study found that when exposed to classical music, dogs’ stress levels went down, and they spent less time barking and standing while the music was playing.

While classical music can be a great option, you can mix it up! Another study tested five genres of music (soft rock, Motown, pop, reggae, and classical) and found that dogs spent more time lying down and less time standing when listening to any type of music, regardless of the genre. However, the researchers determined that soft rock and reggae were especially helpful in lowering stress, as dogs exhibited higher heart rate variability, equating to decreased stress.


Socializing your pup with other furry friends can be especially helpful in building their confidence in unknown situations. Daycare can be a great place to offer structured socialization, as they can play, learn, and stay active with other dogs in a safe, supervised setting. At Dogtopia, we have highly trained Canine Coaches—who will help facilitate structured play and promote positive interactions—and live webcams for your peace of mind. Plus, a full day of play at daycare can tire your dog out, which may help them sleep through fireworks and celebration noises.

Our overnight stays can also be a great way to ensure your pup is safe and cared for during fireworks at night, especially if you’re not going to be home with them. Booking a boarding stay at Dogtopia can offer a safe and secure home away from home where your pup will enjoy all the fun that daycare offers during the day and zonk out by bedtime, happily played out and away from the noise.

Make plans for your furry family member before the upcoming summertime celebrations by booking daycare and/or boarding at a Dogtopia near you.