Fireworks are fun for us, but they can terrify dogs and cats. The explosions of noise and light can be a genuine source of trauma for many dogs and cats, even if they live a mile or two from the action.
Here are some tips for helping your companion stay cool during the fireworks and festivities:
• Don’t take your dog to a fireworks display. Even the calmest, most easy-going canines can be spooked by fireworks.
• Keep your animals indoors during the display. Some may become frightened enough to run away and get disoriented and lost.
• Make sure your companion has adequate and up-to-date ID, just in case he escapes by accident.
• Like Marg, try closing your windows and curtains and putting on some music. Make sure the music is relaxing and soothing – for example, classical or easy listening as opposed to hard rock. You can also buy CDs of calming music just for animals.
• Keep the lights on. That way, the flashes outside won’t be so apparent.
• Provide a safe haven for your dog or cat. It could be a crate, favorite blanket or just a corner of a quiet room. If you have a finished basement, consider putting him downstairs where the noise will be more muffled.
• Try distracting your animal with a favorite treat or toy. However, if he wants to hide, let him. Stay nearby and speak to him comfortingly, but don’t pull him out of his haven and fuss over him. It’ll only make him more anxious.
• Try an Anxiety Wrap, a lightweight jacket-like product that gently targets pressure points on the dog’s body to aid in calming and releasing tension during thunderstorms, fireworks or other stressful events.
• Flower essences can calm an agitated animal. Try rubbing some Bach Rescue Remedy on his ears or paws, or putting a few drops in his water.
• For dogs, try lavender essential oil. Dilute a few drops in water and burn it in a diffuser (make sure it’s well out of your dog’s reach), or rub it on his bedding or coat. Do not use essential oils around cats.