Fireworks and Pets: How to Reduce their Fears
Fireworks are part of our lives. The best we can do right now is to prepare our pets and ourselves for the best possible results through the 4th of July.
Your energy affects your pet’s energy.
If our pets are already upset by the random bangs of fireworks and we allow ourselves to also be upset, we make the situation worse! Our energy must be calm enough that it overcomes their energy of fear. No matter how angry you are at the people who pooled their money to have a huge display next to your backyard or at the youngsters who started lighting firecrackers the week before the 4th, contain yourself. Be an anchor of calm and serenity for your beloved animals. The angrier and the more upset you become, the more upset your pets become. Our job when our animals are afraid is to support them with love, safety, and reassurance.
Tell your pets a happy story.
I tell my animals the people are having fun. This is true; the people lighting and watching the fireworks are having fun! Everyone is safe. I tell them that just like dogs enjoy barking and playing loud, so do humans. Don’t be concerned that you don’t know how to communicate with animals; they know how to listen to you. Show them pictures of people enjoying themselves, laughing, and cheering. Let your energy reflect this happiness, so that your dogs and cats know that all is well. Everyone is okay; everyone is safe. They are safe; you are safe.
Celebrate the noise!
Make a new association for your pets. Start now. Stockpile special treats your dog only receives when there is a bang. Make a happy noise, “Woohoo! You know what that means? You get a very special treat!” If your animals are too afraid during loud noises to take a treat, consider working with an animal communicator or energy healer to help them deal with their fears prior to the 4th of July.
Prepare a safe spot for your pets.
You already know where your pets like to hide when they are fearful. Accept their choice. If the dog prefers to be in the bathroom crammed behind the toilet during thunder storms, honor that. Provide his favorite bed, blanket and chew toy. Close the blinds and windows; play soothing music.
Have a sedative on hand.
If your animals get really upset, talk to your veterinarian about an appropriate sedative to take the edge off the night. You can also buy over the counter sedatives. The first year I used an over the counter medication at full dosage, I was afraid my dear dogs would never wake up! You might start with half a dose, rather than the recommended amount. You can always give them more. After giving our dogs a full sedative dose in year 1, followed by half a dose in year 2, we haven’t had to use any ingested calming products.
Essential oils are helpful too.
I like to pair my calming oils with a calm situation. When we are enjoying a lovely calm time at home, I use a drop of a 100% therapeutic essential oil like lavender. One drop is plenty. You not only have the therapeutic effect; you also have the reinforcement of the calm situation. Do this once a day or so in preparation for the 4th. Before the fireworks begin, calm yourself. Picture the evening going perfectly with you pets relaxed and comfortable beside you. Put a drop of lavender on your hand and offer it to your pets to smell. Do not increase the amount you use. Using more will not help and may make the situation worse by overstimulating them.
Play soothing music.
Prior to the 4th, pair lovely, soothing music with relaxing situations, just like recommended above with the oils. Through a Dog’s Ear offers many musical recordings for various situations. To acclimate your animals to fireworks, they offer a CD that you begin playing weeks in advance. The first track of the CD is music only, which you play for a week or so. The next track has very soft explosions in the background. Each week the explosions get louder. On the 4th of July, you play the first track and the local fireworks naturally make the explosions. Your pets will be accustomed to the noise and so will you.
Pets still upset?
It is possible that despite all your preparations your pets are still distraught. Recognize that the fourth of July week is a brief time and will pass. Letting your animals know it will be over in the morning, helps them. Do not discipline them for expressing their anxiety or discomfort. Provide them and yourself with the most calming, relaxing, positive atmosphere possible. Whatever happens, these methods will make this year so much better than last year.