Firework night is approaching which is usually an exciting time for humans but can be utterly petrifying for pets. Unlike us, animals have no way of knowing what the noise and bright lights really are, which creates a high-stress situation and leads to a range of negative behaviours.

Calming products can really help, both in the build-up to firework season and during it. There are different types of these available, from room diffusers and sprays, to collars and oral preparations. If your pet or horse reacts badly to fireworks and you think a calming product might help, have a read of our ‘most trusted’ products on the market and contact us if you need advice on which to choose: [email protected].

Pheromone-based products:

Pheromones are feel-good chemicals produced naturally by our pets. When a cat is happy and relaxed it may rub its face on things around the home, releasing pheromones that create a positive mood and reassure him there is nothing to be afraid of in the environment. Pheromone-based calming products replicate and release these feel-good chemicals to keep pets feeling calm and content. When sensed by your cat or dog, they can alter mood and help reduce stress and nervousness.

Feliway is made up of a synthetic copy of the pheromone that cats use to mark objects. In various studies it has been found to help reduce spraying and scratching significantly, without carrying any associated risks. Feliway is easy-to-use and convenient – whether you purchase the diffuser or spray – and, rather more importantly, is a highly effective calmer. Simply plug it in or spritz around the rooms your cat visits most and see the results for yourself.

Adaptil is a similar product but for dogs. It consists of a synthetic copy of the mothering pheromones released by bitches to calm and reassure their puppies. Not only is Adaptil available as a diffuser (refills available) and spray, but you can now buy the collar and stress-relief tablets. Sometimes combining the products has the most marked effect. Whether you’re at home this fireworks season or on-the-move, there is a solution available for you.

Confidence EQ is a pheromone-based product formulated for horses. Although they aren’t affected by firework fear as severely as maybe cats and dogs, many horses still need to be stabled during the season. Confidence EQ is a gel containing a synthetic copy of the equine appeasing pheromone released by mares shortly after giving birth and is applied just inside the horse’s nostrils.

Natural and herbal products:

Zylkene is a natural product formulated for stress reduction in cats, dogs and horses. It contains a special milk protein which binds to receptors in the brain and induces calmness. Zylkene can help in many situations where animals might be expected to feel anxious, including fireworks night and during other environmental challenges.

Ideally, Zylkene should be given once daily for a few days before and on the day of a firework display. The product is entirely safe so is suitable for long-term use, but perhaps works best alongside some form of training or desensitising regime.

Pet Remedy offers a natural calming diffuser and spray for cats, dogs, small animals and horses. Combining essential oils geared at calming the nerves of stressed pets, Pet Remedy products can either be used on-the-go or in the home. They are both safe and effective to use in the lead up to (and during) firework displays for stress reduction and natural calming.

Dorwest Skullcap and Valerian tablets are a herbal remedy developed to help relieve stress in cats and dogs and promote calmness. When used in conjunction with Dorwest Organic Valerian Compound during firework season, this is an effective, non-drowsy solution against excitability, stress and fearful behaviours associated with this time of year. The small, sugar-coated tablet is palatable and easy to administer or conceal in food.

Hopefully now you have a good understanding of the types of calmers available and how they can help your pets cope through the stressful times ahead. You can view our 'most trusted' pet calming solutions by visiting the Firework Guide. For a more comprehensive insight into tackling firework fear, have a read of our Knowledgebase article ‘Keep your pets (big or small) happy during fireworks!’ Feel free to get in touch for more info and if you have any advice, please comment below and share it with our other readers! [email protected]

Written by: Hannah Dyball