Bonfire night can be a stressful time for you and your pets whether they are horses, dogs, cats or other smaller animals. Don’t forget that rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens etc. can be equally stressed by fireworks. Indeed, living in the countryside I see the stress suffered by wild animals at this time of year.
As responsible pet owners, it is best to prepare now to ensure you have everything you need in order to support them through the fireworks season, and indeed through any other periods of stress (vet visits, travelling etc).
Using natural products for animals will often calm the animal down quickly and safely. The use of plant extracts may also focus the animal’s concentration and attention on any training you may be undertaking with them to desensitise them to noise in the run up to Halloween and Bonfire Night.
It’s never too early to start preparing for keeping your pet stress free. Here are just a few suggestions.
Do’s and Don’ts during the Firework Season
• Make sure your dog, cat or small animal is shut in during fireworks, and has a safe corner / bed / hiding place where they can go to if they choose;
• Walk your dog during daylight when the likelihood of fireworks is low;
• Keep cats indoors at night during this time of year.
• Horses are generally best left out in fields, as shutting a prey animal in a confined stable can massively increase their stress levels. They will feel safest in a large, safe field with their herd.
• Close windows and curtains at night so they can’t see what is happening outside;
• Play music to hide the sounds of the noisy fireworks.
• Ensure you remain relaxed and calm, as if you are worrying about your animal they will pick up on that stress;
• Move rabbits / guinea pigs into a shed or garage, and play soothing music. Ensure they have plenty of bedding to hide in.
NATURAL PRODUCTS THAT MAY HELP
Using essential oils: Allowing your animal to inhale the aroma can provide fantastic support at this time.
Favourite essential oils normally selected by animals during times of stress are:
Frankincense, Valerian (cats adore this – can be used as an essential oil or dried root for cats to roll in) and also Violet Leaf, Lavender and Ylang Ylang are great.
I am able to advise how to use these, but try placing a few drops on a tea towel, each oil on a different rag, and place them near your pet. For small animals such as rabbits, sprinkle a couple of drops in different corners of their hutch or on a twig that can be placed in their hutch. We also make a fantastic FEAR SPRAY using a combination of essential oils that can be used for all species.
Herbal tonics can be amazing, the JAMES HART SOLUTIONS Chill herbal tonic for dogs is a blend of herbs traditionally used to help calm an over excited and anxious dog or those that lack focus. It can also be used long term or when required, so it is very cost effective. Dogs and cats also love PASSION FLOWER MACERATED OIL and they will select this at times of stress.
For horses a combination of the V Calm (valerian) tonic and Mellow (St John’s Wort) work incredibly well together. Also offer passion flower powder and allow them to take as much as they need. You can leave a bowl of this down so they can select if stressed.
THE most important thing is BE PREPARED! Ensure if you have pets that you have suitable remedies in advance to use, and start using them before the fireworks start. We are here to help so please contact me if you need any more advice and wishing you all a lovely, safe Fireworks season.