There, on the sofa is your purring cat, curled up on a cushion, and you’re wishing you could get that comfortable. Ah, contentment! On the plush bed on the floor is your beloved canine, looking just as comfortable. Life looks good.
If this is your life a good deal of the time, then please do consider what fear from fireworks can do to change the personality of your pets. Formerly content dogs have been known to dig under fences and break through glass windows or screen doors to escape the scary sounds. If your kitty has never peed outside of the box, or clawed your brand new furniture, being scared by fireworks can change all that, immediately.
Animals can feel and hear fireworks from miles away, and they may run as far to get free.
Start preparing your pets now!
• Walk dogs early in the evening. Once fireworks begin some pets may be too scared to void, leading to later accidents.
• Keep your pets indoors. Even if they normally live outside, contained animals are safest. Gates can become unlatched, and dogs have been known to dig their way away from the noise, getting lost, or worse, hit by a car or injured in another way. If your cat is normally an indoor-outdoor cat, keep them indoors for a few days. Unfortunately, there are still sadistic people around who think it’s great fun to tie a string of firecrackers to a cat’s tail. Don’t let your cat become a statistic! Close the curtains and blinds and turn on the TV or radio. Your pet may find a sense of security by being in a comfortable carrier or crate placed in a quiet area of your home.
• Use a leash or carrier. If you must be outside with your pet, keep them on a leash or in their carrier at all times.
• Secure gates, doors, and windows. Be sure there is no way your animals can escape from your home. If you are having a party, crating your animals in a quiet place is safest.
• Practice safety. Keep pets away from matches, open fires, and fireworks – especially ones that are lighted on the ground. Pets are curious and may try to sniff or eat and pet hair can easily catch on fire.
• Make sure pet ID is current. Make sure that your pet has proper identification tags, with current information, in case they get away. Though collars with tags are a great way to reunite you and your pet, they can come off, so micro-chipping all of your animals is the best way to get them back.
• Don’t feed table scraps. Though it is tempting, an already nervous stomach can turn ugly when greasy, and out of the ordinary food is given as a treat. Stick to their routine and feed only their fare and treats.
• Bach Flower Essences. Rescue Remedy, a combination of five essences, is a good all-purpose way to calm your pets from trauma or fear. Mimulus, another Bach Flower Essence, is a single remedy to treat fear of known things. Working for both humans and animals, it acts simply and effectively to quiet fears and regain confidence and composure.
Even if you have followed all of the safety tips, your animal may still experience severe fear from fireworks. Some general and common signs that your pet is terrified are:
• Shaking and trembling
• Excessive drooling
• Barking and howling
• Trying to hide, digging to get out of the house, under the fence, or our of their enclosure
• Refusal to eat
• Loss of bladder or bowel control or diarrhea
Note: If any of these symptoms persist, see your veterinarian as some of these are also signs of illnesses or poisoning.
Last but not least, do not leave pets in cars at any time! Even if you are in the shade and the windows are open! At a balmy 75 degrees, cars still heat up amazingly fast. Add to that an animal that is excited or anxious and heat stroke is a definite possibility.
With vigilance, plenty of distraction, and a caring owner, your animals will make it through this harrowing day, and return to their previously stable condition.
Have a happy and safe Independence Day!
If you have questions about Bach Flower Essences, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find Rescue Remedy and the other 38 Bach Flower Essences at Whole Foods, Sprouts, and Sunflower Markets in the Phoenix area. Otherwise, find your local health food store to purchase any Bach product.