It's time to celebrate the New Year and unfortunately for many of us that involves a nearby firework display. You can hope for a massive snow storm or torrential downpour to keep fireworks down to a minimum, but odds are there will be some firework activity in your area.
Some people try to use medications to drug their pet and desensitize them to loud sounds, I tried this once for my dog and ended up with a drooling, trembling dog who was just as scared but had delayed and slowed reactions due to the drugs. I'm not sure if that made him feel any better. I’ve tried going to a remote location in the middle of nowhere to avoid dealing with the fireworks and while effective it was a little lonely.
So what are some helpful suggestions for the majority of people who have pets with mild to severe anxiety around fireworks that don’t involve drugs or isolation?
Provide a safe, indoor location for your dog. It helps to establish this “safe place” ahead of time so your dog knows to go there when stressed. As an animal communicator, I help your pet understand this process. My own dogs know the basement is their safe place and head straight downstairs anytime fireworks happen. They come back up when things are calm. If you don’t have a basement, a room or closet with covered or no windows is helpful. https://www.naturalpetwellnessco.com/dog-walking-denver
Essential oils can be helpful to calm nerves but should be applied before the fireworks happen. Apply minimally and never near the face. If unsure on how to safely apply oils to your pet, having a diffuser on with the calming scent is also helpful. Smells like lavender, bergamot, Peace and Calming, T-away, Stress Away, and Valor (many are Young Living essential oil blends). Use caution when diffusing oils as some oils have synthetic chemicals or toxins in them-always use a trusted oil source. https://www.myyl.com/naturalpetwellness#bwm/calming-oils-to-diffuse-fb
Gentle pressure like that used with a Thunder Vest or anxiety wrap are helpful. https://iloveveterinary.com/blog/10-best-thundershirts-for-dogs/
White noise or calming music can be used to hide the firework sounds. Often a dog will hear the fireworks regardless of music or other noise playing because of their ability to hear at a greater level than us, but it might muffle the smaller booms. Energetically, the vibration from the booms are interacting with the dog's energy field, making it feel oversensitive.
Exercise before the fireworks start. While it is still daylight and early enough where fireworks will not go off, get your dog a good long walk or run. If they are really tired, they may still be scared at night and reactive with the booms but will have gotten a lot of the nervous energy out and be less reactive.
If you feel that medicating your pet is the right answer, CBD, Rescue Remedy or melatonin are less extreme than prescription anxiety medications. Do consult your veterinarian or animal professional before administering any herbal, holistic or chemical medicine.
It is difficult to see our pets scared or stressed but hopefully it is a short timeframe, and they will be back to their happy self again soon. This year I am hoping for a big blizzard and driving to a remote mountain area. Maybe the next firework holiday, when I have extra cash, I will splurge on the Zen Dog Crate at just under $700! https://zendogcrate.com/products/zencrate
Be safe, hug your pets and family, make sure your pet is microchipped and good luck!