Pets’ fear of fireworks no laughing matter

Holidays celebrated with fireworks are no holiday for us. We have two dogs and 2 cats (4 out of 10) that are afraid of the loud booms and flashing lights associated with fireworks, as well as thunderstorms, and gun fire to add insult to injury.

Chase starts pacing and becomes quite nervous but Hope is just plain inconsolable.

Nothing seems to help calm her fears except a Calming Dog Chew from Pet Naturals of Vermont that I found at our local pet boutique, Just Jak’s Pet Market in Altoona. You can also find them online.

They really work for Hope and calm her fears naturally. There are several brands of natural calming treats on the market that likely would work for her, This is just the one I found that works so I stick with it.

Some people like Bach’s Rescue Remedy Stress Relief Pet Supplement. I have found this product at natural heath food stores and some pet boutiques or online. Whatever works best for your pet is worth a try.

I try to stay away from prescribed sedatives from the vet for Hope because I hate to have her feeling too dopey. I pull for the natural sedatives, if possible, because they just seem to take the edge off rather than knock her out.

So far, these are the only pets that react negatively to storms and fireworks so I feel somewhat fortunate.

But, ’tis the season for fireworks (and storms) so there are a few other tips that we pet owners must keep in mind.

Pets don’t understand where these loud noises are coming from. They only know that they are a potential danger and some will do whatever they can to get as far away from the noise as they can.

Ensuring your pet has an I.D. tag on its collar or is micro-chipped is important. Some people who micro-chip also believe in a collar I.D. because it provides instantaneous information to the finder rather than having to wait for a micro-chip to be scanned.

Providing your pet with a ‘safe’ place to ‘hide out’ is also important. Let them hide out under a desk, table or bed or cover their crate with a blanket to make them feel more secure.

Thunder shirts that wrap around a pet’s mid-section making them feel secure in a way similar to how they did as a pup cuddled with their mother are helpful to many pets. Calming collars are also helpful to some pets and contain a mix natural herbs sewn into a soft collar that the pet can wear.

Remember to keep doors and fences secured so frightened pets don’t try to make a great escape. They’ll have little clue where they’re going except to get away from the noise and could end up in harm’s way.

Keep your pets close during fireworks and as comfortable as possible if they react negatively. Also, keep in mind that if you’re setting off that illegal batch of neighborhood fireworks that there could be a frightened animal or child within earshot along with an upset owner. Try to curb your enthusiasm and leave the fireworks to the experts – which for owners of scared pets are hard enough to deal with.

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