Fireworks - A survival guide
A lot of animals are frightened at even the thought of fireworks.
Here is a guide to help those animals.

First of all you all know I have my own brand calming spray, but this is not wat this article is about.
The article is for all Pals to share their experiences, what they use or have used and which have helped.
Below is the list of options that are out there to help you. I am not promoting or endorsing anything that is mentioned, it is just to make you aware of what is available.
Send in things you have used or tried and what level of success you had. I will add all new suggestions to the bottom of this article.

Why are we frightened of fireworks?
Is it the loud bangs? The unexpected noise? or Do animals hear a lot more than humans can?
whatever the reasons, this is a real problem and investigating how animals react may help improve things.

What happens when the fireworks start?
All animals are different and react differently. Even those that are scared have varying levels of fear.
Everything from a slight reaction to flat out panic.
When I first adopted my humans I used to pant, drool, have my heart racing, run around the room, stop eating and completely refuse to go outside to wee after the fireworks had ended.

What should we be aiming for?
We should all be aiming to be able to cope with the fireworks and still function normally. I mean yes stay indoors when the fireworks are happening, but remain calm enough to eat, drink, play with your humans or even just chill out of the sofa.
You are looking to be at the stage where you stop and listen because you heard the noise, but you just shrug it off and carry on with what you were doing.

Play:
Play is a good distraction and it is probably a very important thing to do, even if you are using some of the other available options. 
When you get stressed or panic, the first thing that happens is that you freeze in the moment. Remaining in the moment will make the stress and panic remain in the here and now.
Try to get your human to get a high value toy you are only allowed to play with occasionally. That way the excitement at seeing it will help you to move forward from that frozen state of stress and panic. Once you start moving forward from the state of panic, it will get easier to move forward the next time.
I have my wobble wag ball that makes the strange noises. 

Hugs from your humans:
Hugs from your human give a sense of comfort and protection, assuming you are an animal that enjoys hugs normally. Sometimes hugs can be a negative thing because we are so worked up, we could feel trapped and could strike out in panic.

Clothing:
Tight fitting clothing is supposed to represent the hug from a human. There are varying degrees of success with these. 
I will say when I was wearing some of my clothing during fireworks, especially my fleece, I found I was getting too hot which made me get stressed even more.

Music:
Listening to music could distract from the bangs and create a less stressful environment. Finding the right pitch and tones would also help. Some radio stations have started broadcasting soothing music for some of the official firework evenings. 
If it works, perhaps the music could be purchased to be used anytime.
Some humans have recordings of fireworks that are played quietly and gradually turned up louder until we no longer react to the sound. 

Crates:
Crates resemble dens from when we were young and felt safe in the nest with our siblings. Crates also give a sense of security as there is only one way in or out of the crate, making us feel more protected with only one point where we need to guard/watch.
Crates can also help muffle the noise and block out some of the flashes as blankets or sheets can be draped over the top of them.

Medication:
Sometimes it is necessary to get medication if we get ourselves into a state that humans cannot help us out of. 
Medications vary and some very strong ones can only be purchased from the vet, which is good to get a vet's diagnosis and professional opinion to help with advice, dosage and use.
There are pheromone based medication that triggers the natural pheromone that is released by the mother animal to the young which gives them calming reassurance.  
Other medication is more of a herbal relaxant that does not immobilise us, but is designed to take us down a few levels of stress.

Sprays:
There are a few sprays that are an alternative from the medication types of help.

Plug-in:
There are plug in alternatives which are plugged into the mains and as the element inside warms up, it releases the contents around the room.
These are an alternative to the medical and spray options.

Summary:
Whatever you use and whatever you do, I hope this article helps you move forward and be better able to cope the next time there are fireworks. Or even any stressful situation, perhaps you could get your human to help you work through them too.

Stay safe Pals!


Tigger:
I use the tight clothing, calming spray, crate and play in the past to help me calm down. This year I am only using the calming spray and toys to help me. I still have some moments where there are just so many fireworks and some so close that I will still run to my crate for a few seconds, but I come straight back out again to resume playing with my humans. 


Methos The Azawakh: 
I am listening to classic. I have adaptil and daddy's smelly socks as I hide in my den but the bangs are going off one or two v loud ones a few minutes & they sound like dey r right on top of us. I is trembling & nose is running like a tap. Nothing the hoos can do 4 me!


Duke:
Well so far I have double dosed on skullcap & valerian, just taken my 2nd dose of valerian, listened to cooker hood, classic FM, kisstory, TV, pet therapy plug in & had a cuddle in mums chesticles. I’m back in my crate now.


Olly:
We are thankfully ok with fireworks, except NiNaw did try telling them off a couple of times. We did all get sleepy during ClassicFM (Ally too), but there was lots of gaps. Kisstory was much less gappy, I reluctantly admit, but I think only Ally was enjoying the music. 


Betsy Trotwoof:
Sofa snuggles and lots of fuss and kisses


Coco:
Riding the Valium wave






Tags: Fireworks