Fireworks, a joyous moment for humans can be a nightmare for dogs and cats. The loud bangs and pops of fireworks cause fear and anxiety to pets, leading to unwanted reactions such as running, hiding, and window-breaking, which neither of us wants. With that being said, here’s what you should know about the impact of fireworks, signs of fear in pets, and the best safety tips to keep them calm and safe.
Natural Fear of Fireworks
Due to their more sensitive senses, fireworks cause a sense of fear, bewilderment, and distress in pets due to the explosive noises, fire and lights. As an innate response, our dogs and/or cats go to complete flight mode, which could cause them to run in any direction. This is why cases of pets running lost during firework shows are no surprise.
Signs of Firework Fear
When it comes to your pets’ safety and wellbeing, paying close attention to the signs may serve as an indicator to take immediate action and come to their rescue. We’ve compiled a list of common signs in both dogs and cats to help you identify anxiety from fireworks and proactively plan the aids your pets may need.
Signs for Dogs
- Barking towards the source of sounds
- Ears tucked back
- Hyper alertness
- Pupils dilated
- Being clingier than they usually are
Signs for Cats
- Pupils dilated
- Ears pinned back
Note: Cats are usually more subtle in showing these signs than the more obvious signs in dogs. You must pay extra attention if you do happen to be a cat owner.
How to calm your pets during firework shows
Preparation has always been the best way to handle any situation, regardless of what the circumstances may be. Helping your pets feel at ease and calm before the loud bangs and crackles are one of the best ways to help them go through all the jazz going on in the skies. Here are some of the top tips to help your pets stay as calm as still waters.
- Ensure they get plenty of exercise before sunset. Take your pets on those evening runs or have some extra playtime with them to put their energy to productive use! This helps them stay calmer and hopefully asleep, by the time the fireworks start.
- Give them some durable chew toys and food puzzles. Not only does this keep them preoccupied, but it also helps them ease their nerves from all the bangs and pops outside.
- Keep them safe and sound inside before sunset. Ensure you have windows and curtains closed and have them snuggled in their crates (for dogs) and elevated “cave” such as a closet or indoor cat tree huts. This keeps them feeling cozy, warm, and secure.
- Use ear-soothing calming sounds. Ensure you keep doors, windows, and curtains closed to dampen sounds. You can also use some smooth jazz for calming music or white noise, such as fans, to give your pets some familiar sounds.
- Get them calming aids. Both dogs and cats are fond of smelling specific pheromones, particularly those that mimic mother cats and mother dogs. These can often be found in collars for both dogs and cats to keep the scent close and as warm as a mother pet’s love.
- Save medications as your last resort. If all else fails, then vet-prescribed medications should be able to calm your pet down. Be sure that you seek expert advice from your local vet for your pets’ sake.
- Get a reliable GPS Tracker for your pets and ensure they have it securely fastened on them throughout the night, just in case they make a run for it. After all, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
A day with fireworks should be a day filled with joy and peace, knowing your pets are safe as you watch those fireworks light up the skies. As much as we hope they’ll stay calm, we should always prepare for the worst just in case they make an unexpected run. The YoPets GPS tracker has you covered with their virtual fence feature set up on your phone and pet-tracking functionalities; you’ll be able to quickly locate and bring your pets back home safely.