For dogs with firework fear, now is a dreaded time of year for them, with firework displays happening right until the new year. Whereas we know exactly what the loud bangs, shrieks and bright lights are, dogs are none the wiser and perceive them as scary occurrences that pose a considerable threat.
The trick is to remain as calm as possible, as this will teach your dog there is nothing to fear. The minute you get upset by your dog’s reaction and start excessively petting and reassuring them, their fear will be reinforced and exacerbated. Calm indifference will teach them to relax.
This, along with other small changes you can make at home, including closing all windows and doors, creating a safe space or ‘den’ for your dog, and turning the TV or radio on to muffle the sounds, can help create a calm and secure environment that will support your dog through fireworks.
That said, it is often the case that a combined approach to firework fear works best, with some form of calming treatment working alongside small changes made at home. These calming treatments can take the form of pheromone-based diffusers, room sprays, or tablets/chews with calming properties.
With so many to choose from, we’ve compiled a short list of our ‘recommended calming products’ for the year, which should hopefully help your dog through the worst of firework season.
- SettleMe – our new and improved formula contains a blend of ingredients believed to be helpful in supporting calm behaviour and reducing anxiety, stress-related behaviours and over-activity, not only during fireworks but during any stressful event. The chews are easy to give, with or without food, and can be given as ‘treats’ in the lead up to scheduled displays. We offer two pack sizes and two strengths, so there is something for every dog (and cat)!
- Adaptil – available as a spray, diffuser or collar, Adaptil products contain a synthetic copy of the dog appeasing pheromone naturally released by a mother dog to comfort and reassure her new puppies. The diffuser can be placed in the room most often used by your dog and provides a calming effect for up to 4 weeks. The tablets need to be given two hours before the required effect and last up to 4 hours afterwards.
- Pet Remedy – these natural calming products contain a blend of essential oils which work alongside the relaxation pathways in the brain to help calm the nerves of anxious and stressed pets. The diffuser provides calming for up to 8 weeks, while the spray can be used as and when needed.
- YuCalm – this all-natural supplement containing scientifically proven ingredients, supports calm behaviour, eases anxiety and helps reduce stress. It can be given daily to provide long-term calming support and is designed to be palatable.
- Zylkene – containing a natural product derived from casein, a milk protein, Zylkene is a popular product amongst vets and behaviourists for helping pets to adapt to difficult or unpredictable situations where they’re likely to feel anxious or stressed. For easy administration, Zylkene capsules can be opened and the powder mixed into food.
If you’ve had any success with these products, we would love to hear from you! Comment below to share with our other readers or email me directly: [email protected]
Written by: Hannah Dyball