Fretting over fireworks

Guy Fawkes Day is on its way and for animal owners it is often a time of dread. Some animals are completely relaxed around explosions, high pitched noises and bright lights but many suffer incredible mental stress, anxiety and downright terror, sometimes leading to physical harm. 

For our pets at home we can try and keep them in the house, in a calm and sheltered situation. But even that is not enough when there are loud, unexpected noises going off outside. Remember, dogs hear sound on a much larger range of frequencies than what humans detect and their sensitive hearing picks up sound from far away. That means those popping fireworks are actually booming.
Things you can do to soothe your pets:

  • Do not leave your pet home alone – stay with them and comfort them.
  • Make sure they have somewhere safe to retreat such as an igloo, crate or box.
  • Homeopathic remedies can help calm your pet and keep them safe. There are specific remedies for fear, trauma, fright and noise sensitivity.
  • Calming music, the TV or radio, or even white noise like the washing machine/dryer/air conditioner can help.
  • Bach flower remedies specifically work on mental and emotional levels and can assist with calming. While specific remedies for your pet are the best, Rescue Remedy (containing five Bach flower essences) can help with general anxiety. This can be purchased at most chemist and health food stores. Put three drops in their drinking water on the big day and dose regularly (every 15 mins) during the worst of it. Ideally, put it straight in their mouth, between gum and cheek, or put drops on a treat. For cats that are a little more difficult to dose, pop three drops on their paw and they will usually lick it off. Or you can rub it calmly into their coat or behind ears.
  • Cuddle, massage and talk to your pet – keeping them close or where they feel safe such as a crate or their bed – or your bed!
  • Try a pressure/anxiety wrap. Some pet owners report this is helpful but for others, it isn’t.