Dogs are no different to people, and they can suffer from a variety of physical health aliments, just like us. It is therefore important to remember that they can also suffer from a variety of mental health issues as well, such as anxiety, dementia, and phobias.

It is particularly important at this very busy time of year, when you pet may need to be away from you in a boarding facility, or at home with you where they can become overwhelmed with lots of visitors and changes to the routine throughout the holiday period.

A phobia is anything that results in an uncontrollable fear reaction, often resulting in extreme behaviour. It may not always be possible to determine what caused the phobia in the first place, in-fact it is thought to often be an inherited trait. The important thing is to know how to recognise a phobia in your pet, and then take steps to ensure your pets safety if a trigger event occurs to create a reaction. Often, these phobias are related to loud noise events, such as fire-works or thunder, but many other phobias can develop, such as situational phobias or a fear of strangers.

If your pet has a tendency for extreme behaviour that is always triggered by the same event, then this means you can identify the cause of their phobia. For example, if a thunderstorm always causes your dog to bolt from you, hide, shake, bark, or exhibit dangerous behaviour that could result in them injuring themselves, then you can be pro-active in knowing that your pet may need some assistance prior to the arrival of a storm to ensure their safety.

With plenty of fireworks happening over the New Year celebration period, keep in mind your pets security and safety if you know that they are likely to react. If they are staying away from you, let the Pet Resort know that they have a phobia of loud noises or Fireworks, or if their reaction is often extreme, consider talking to your veterinarian prior to boarding so that they can discuss the various options to help keep them calm. If they are staying home over the holiday period, be sure to secure your pet safely where they cannot escape from your property, and check on the regularly to make sure they have not injured themselves during a reaction to a known phobia.

Seeking advice from your veterinarian is the best place to start. They will listen to you describe the phobia trigger and your pet’s reaction, and then determine what the best course of action is to ensure your pet’s safety.

Provided by Australian Pet Care Association (APCA) – Become a member with us at or contact us anytime by emailing