Pets & Fireworks: 7 Ways To Help

Pets & Fireworks: 7 Ways To Help

January 2, 2019

Holiday fireworks spark extreme anxiety in our pets. In a survey involving 17 dog breeds, 23% demonstrated fearful responses to fireworks.[1] So how do we combat our pet’s fear of fireworks?

 

First, let’s review tell-tale signs of firework anxiety:

 

  • Vocalizing

  • Trembling/Shaking

  • Hiding

  • Urination and salivation

  • Decreased activity

  • Seeking comfort from people

  • Destruction

If your pet demonstrates these symptoms during fireworks, do not punish them for bad behavior or give them tranquilizers (e.g., acepromazine). Punishment makes their lives even more unbearable and tranquilizers paralyze their bodies but preserve their anxiety.

 

How to Alleviate Firework Anxiety

 

  1. Stay Inside: Keep your pet indoors in a safe area where they will not be injured if they panic.

  2. White Noise: Fans, A/C, music, and even TV can help mitigate the cracking detonations outside.

  3. Comfort: Our pets love us, and we can buffer them from stress. Research indicates that when dogs meet strangers alongside their owner, their heart rates remain lower and more stable than when they meet strangers alone.[2]

  4. Treats: Tasty treats have the power to change our pet’s emotional state. Better yet, try treats infused with cannabidiol (CBD), an effective, all-natural anxiolytic.[3] Treat-its are CBD-infused soft chews that can be broken into small pieces to prolong our pet’s positive response.

  5. Wraps: Tactile pressure via a snug vest or garment may reduce anxiety symptoms in our pets.[4]

  6. Escape Safety: Make sure your pet has ID and a microchip to safeguard possible panic escapes.

  7. Pharmaceutical Treatment: If all else fails, consider anxiolytic medication. Sileo is an FDA-approved treatment for canine noise aversion.

 

Holiday fireworks cause anxiety in our pets. Fortunately, there are some proven strategies we can implement to make this holiday safe and sound for our animal companions.

 

  1. Storengen, Linn Mari, and Frode Lingaas. "Noise Sensitivity in 17 Dog Breeds: Prevalence, Breed Risk and Correlation with Fear in Other Situations." Applied Animal Behaviour Science 171 (2015): 152-60. doi:10.1016/j.applanim.2015.08.020.

  2. Gácsi, Márta, Katalin Maros, Sofie Sernkvist, Tamás Faragó, and Ádám Miklósi. "Human Analogue Safe Haven Effect of the Owner: Behavioural and Heart Rate Response to Stressful Social Stimuli in Dogs." PLoS ONE 8, no. 3 (2013). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0058475.

  3. Blessing, Esther M., Maria M. Steenkamp, Jorge Manzanares, and Charles R. Marmar. "Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders." Neurotherapeutics 12, no. 4 (2015): 825-36. doi:10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1.

  4. Cottam, Nicole, Nicholas H. Dodman, and James C. Ha. "The Effectiveness of the Anxiety Wrap in the Treatment of Canine Thunderstorm Phobia: An Open-label Trial." Journal of Veterinary Behavior 8, no. 3 (2013): 154-61. doi:10.1016/j.jveb.2012.09.001.