? We can generally anticipate the arrival of fireworks – between late October to early January they are an almost guaranteed fixture in our calendar. What many people forget to anticipate is the negative impact it can have on our pets. From the largest horse, to the smallest mouse, the bright lights that we humans use to create dazzling displays can be a terrifying experience for our furry and feathered friends. ?


Most of the animal-owning population struggle with problem behaviour during firework season. But there are things you can do to make it easier! Unfortunately there isn’t a single one-dose wonder remedy that will make the fear go away, but like with most things effective planning in advance can help minimise the problem.


The signs


Animals can be easily startled by the unpredictable patterns and sudden noise of events like firework night – and being unable to escape can lead to feelings of being trapped, triggering the natural fight-or-flight response.


? Common signs include… ?

  • Barking or growling at the noise;
  • Hissing;
  • Excessive panting;
  • Weaving and stall-walking (in horses);
  • Restlessness;
  • Cowering;
  • Shaking;
  • Hiding;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Unwillingness to go outside.


Preparations before firework season


? The start to the middle of October is actually the best time to to begin your preparations for the firework season. By establishing a new routine, you can create an atmosphere in which your pet feels safe. It will also help reduce the stress caused by early firework-users.?


  1. Create a den or safe space. For dogs, if you don’t have one already, it may be worthwhile investing in a wire home that you can drape blankets over and fill with comfy bedding. Cats will often have existing hiding-places around the home, so try to observe where these places are and make a note of them. Use calming sprays in these areas to help your pet relax and feel safe.
    For small animals, partially drape a blanket over their cage/hutch to help muffle loud noises, and ensure there is plenty of bedding that they can burrow into. This will help them keep warm and feel sheltered. It is advisable to bring them indoors, but if they are normally kept outside you should try and slowly integrate them into the indoor environment so that they are not startled by the sudden change in scenery. Ideally this will need to be done approximately a month in advance.
  2. Invest in a calming diffuser or atomiser. You can help turn larger areas into a calming space through use of a calming diffuser. These diffusers work in the same way as an air freshener, but emit into the air soothing hormones or herbal essences specifically designed to help the animal relax.
    They’re not just for dogs and cats either – the Pet Remedy herbal atomiser can even be used to help soothe and comfort small animals, birds and horses!
  3. Begin using calming tablets… Calming tablets are designed specifically to help your pet physically and mentally relax. Particularly useful for animals that suffer greatly from stress and anxiety during firework season, there are a great variety of options on the market all made with different ingredients designed to target and soothe particular points of anguish for animals.
  4. …or try a homeopathic remedy. Homeopathic remedies aren’t new in the pet market. Whilst we don’t normally recommend use of just these remedies on their own, they can be useful in conjunction with other treatments to help aid the calming process.


During firework season


  1. Bring your animals indoors. Ensure that your animals are not outside during the evenings and nights. Bring horses and livestock off fields/pastures, and ensure that dogs, cats and small animals are brought indoors in the early evenings.
  2. Walk dogs earlier in the day. Help reduce your pet’s stress by walking them during daylight hours. Not only will your pet be more at ease, but the chances of people lighting fireworks during the day tends to be greatly reduced.
  3. Try to muffle the sound of fireworks. Using blankets over cages will help muffle any loud bangs, but you can also try to minimise the impact of the sound by creating other distractions. Switch on your television, or play music in the background, to help mask the noise (please note: death-metal listeners, you’d maybe be best opting for the former).
  4. Top-up with Valerian Compound. Add a couple of drops of Valerian Compound to your pet’s water bowl so that they will feel a renewed sense of calm every time they go for a drink.
  5. Provide your pet with a calming treat. What better way to cheer up a stressed pet than reminding them how good they are with a tasty treat! The good news is, there are a number of options which contain ingredients specifically designed to have a calming impact on your pet.