In the USA, fireworks are everywhere around the 4th of July — even in places where private individuals aren’t supposed to have any. Somehow, people manage to find them — and set them off, sometimes safely and sometimes not.
The problem for pet owners is that sometimes their dog or cat totally freaks out over the sudden loud noises. To their sensitive ears, it sounds like the end of the world — and they panic. As a flower essence practitioner, I’ve heard so many heartbreaking stories over the years that I tell everyone I can so that we can save as many lives as possible. When a large dog is having a panic attack, the last thing you want is for beloved Fido to break the front window and run blindly out into the street, to be hit and killed by an unsuspecting vehicle. It happens!
There are some things you can do to help. First of all, never ever ever take your pet to a fireworks display. Your dog may be your best friend but exposing them to ear-piercing, terrifying sounds is NOT how you treat a friend. Don’t go there. Keep your pets at home when the fireworks go off in your area, preferably with you right there to help intervene if their panic leads them to become destructive (it can.)
The next thing you can do is to provide them with safe areas so they can hide if they feel threatened; a crate or quiet room away from the noise is ideal. Make sure they have access to fresh water. Do NOT “let them out” during the evening! Take them outside on leash, before the fireworks start, and let them do their business when things are calm. If they have to go later, make sure they are on leash and in your control at all times.
Give them additional support in the form of calming flower essences. Rescue Remedy(R) is good and so is the custom blend I made for panic attacks: Phobias. ETS for animals (Emergency Trauma Solution) from Perelandra Ltd. is also good, as is my other new formula from the Animal Spray Series: Calming Spray.
You can also use what’s known as a “thundershirt” in the proper size, to wrap around their midsection and give them a sense of security. Some people swear by them, and others (perhaps breed-dependent) say they don’t help. It’s worth a try, though, if you’d like to save your drapes and keep your pet alive.
Sometimes a combination of one or more of the above solutions will work.
But the bottom line for me? A little bit of common sense goes a long way! Take their panic seriously — because it is to them. Treat them the way you would like to be treated if the fur was on the other paw (errr, foot. . . )
While we’re on the subject of panic attacks, the above solutions work for thunderstorm phobias, too. Put together a working formula for your pet, and keep them safe. You don’t want to know how it feels to realize you could have prevented their tragic loss — but didn’t.