The Firework Season is Upon Us - How To Help Your Pet Stay Calm Naturally
For many dogs and cats, the cacophony of sounds created by fireworks are an unseen threat, provoking intense fight or flight responses. Unable to identify the cause and denied the option of fending it off, many pets - frightened by what is happening - run from place to place in a state of distress or desperately seek out somewhere safe to hide until the danger has passed. Some are comforted by company and loving contact, while others prefer to be left alone and untouched. Regardless of the differences in outward behaviour however, emotionally and physiologically the inner reactions are the same, resulting in:
- an accelerated heart rate
- hyperventilation or panting
- a heightened sensitivity of the senses to all external stimuli, but especially sights and sounds
- sustained STRESS
Once a dog or cat is in this 'fight or flight' state of arousal (with high levels of adrenaline and other chemical mediators of stress coursing through the body) they can be extremely difficult to calm down. And if this happens day after day for weeks on end - which is often the case over the festive season - it is not only distressing to all, it can have a negative impact on health long term. If you have a pet who is fearful of loud noises and bangs, the following steps can help them cope much better than they normally would.
1. PLAN AHEAD
There is an old saying 'well begun is half done.'
Putting stress-relieving measures in place early, and having the tools to hand that best help, increase the likelihood of a pet staying as calm and comfortable as possible throughout the festive season.
2. INCREASE ACTIVITY
Excess energy fuels anxiety, and the more this can be dissipated, the less reactive your pet is likely to be when the fireworks begin.
Vigorous walks and more of them is good for this (unless there is a health reason not to), as is playing games with your pet when you can throughout the day.
And, as mental stimulation is often more tiring than physical exertion alone, spending time hiding treats in the house for cats to hunt down or favourite tit-bits in the garden for dogs to scent out, are great ways of tiring a pet.
3. KEEP INDOORS
Make sure your pet is home and all doors, windows and pet flaps are locked well ahead of fireworks being let off.
4. A SAFE SPACE
Creating a 'den' which provides a safe haven to retreat to if needed, helps pets many feel safe and secure. This can simply be the bed they naturally go to when anxious, with the addition of a few extra blankets, favourite toys and some of your old clothes.
If an alternative location is preferred, such as under a table or bed, a comforting space can also be made there.
Sprinkling a few drops of Thunder and Fireworks in these places once or twice daily helps them feel safe and secure.
5. THUNDER AND FIREWORKS
Thunder and Fireworks is a clinically proven blend* of botanical extracts which support the body's natural adaptive and recuperative powers, and facilitates the relief of stress.
Ideally, it is best to start giving several drops a few hours before fireworks are likely to be let off - preferably to a dog or cat who has been well-fed and tired out mentally and / or physically as previously described.
This helps to minimise the heightened state of arousal and stress fearful events normally create. Adding a few drops to a small spray bottle filled with spring / mineral water, shaking well and then misting the air around your pet and their safe place also helps.
It is also beneficial to add a few drops of Thunder and Fireworks to your pet's drinking water.
6. KEEP TO THE SAME ROUTINE
Pets are reassured by routine, and this becomes even more important when the disruption created by fireworks begins. It is best therefore, to keep daily habits (yours as well as theirs) the same as much as possible.
If walks or feeding times need to be moved to earlier in the day to avoid them clashing with fireworks, this is best done gradually over the course of a week.
If your pet is naturally timid, worried, lacks confidence or finds life in general stressful Fears and Anxieties might be a more appropriate choice. If you are in any doubt which product to select for the best, please don't hesitate to contact us.