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Take The Fright Out Of Festivals

Posted: 26/09/2016

Take the Fright out of Festival Fireworks
A Practical Guide for South African Dog Owners

As we approach Guy Fawkes Day (5 November),Diwali (10-11 November), Christmas and New Year, the fireworks season is upon us. Humans,celebrating special occasions through intense firework displays can be a delight for children and adults, however terrifying for our fur kids.

Animals are able to distinguish a far widerrange of frequencies than people and the sound from firecrackers is at leastfive times louder to them. Forpets, fireworks are frightening as they experience the world through theirsenses — nose, eyes and ears. With firework displays, unlike thunderstorms,noises are closer to the ground, more vibrant, and are accompanied by suddenbangs, flashes and burning smells. It is natural for pets to be afraid ofunfamiliar and loud noises, which trigger their nervous system, making themanxious or afraid. Fleeing from the sound is a survival instinct and fireworkscan cause dogs to dart off and seek shelter, in some cases escape from yourproperty, get lost, and even have a fatal accident on the road.

“Sounds Scary”: Sound Therapy for Dogs - freedownloads

The best way to prepare your dogs forfireworks is to familiarise them to the noise in advance. Sounds Scary can helpyour dog deal with distressing noises such as fireworks. The sound based treatmentprogrammes were developed by two veterinary surgeons specialising in the fieldof pet behavioural therapy. The products have been scientifically researched, easyto use and extremely effective and include a full set of instructions. Download for free and review the comprehensive guide on how to use Sound Therapy for Dogs.


Plan ahead – Prevention is better than Cure

·  Your dog’s identification collars, tags andmicrochips should be updated - this will help the local authorities and goodSamaritans return you beloved companion, if they escape.

·      If you know that your pooch will becomestressed, consult your vet on calming supplements, sedatives or tranquilisersavailable.

·      Investin pheromone diffusers or collars, which release calming chemicals, availablethrough pet stores.

·      RescueRemedy, an effective homeopathic solution, has a calming effect on pets and isrecommended for both physical and emotional shock and is regularly prescribe byveterinarians.


·      Treatment couldvary from weeks to days before the fireworks, depending on severity of theanxiety and treatment option.

12 Tips to keep dogs safe and secure


·      Stay home if you suspect fireworkswill be used.Parents should keep their pets inside, secure and supervised. Just having momor dad there while the fireworks are going off can have a calming effect onscared animals.

·      Attempt to mask any noiseby closing windows, drawing curtains and playing calming music at a reasonablevolume, to provide some noise distraction.

·      Put familiar andcomforting things around them such as pet toys, dog beds or baskets and provideentertainment by giving your dog a chewy bone.

·      Don’t fuss over your petsduring the fireworks. Stay composed and talk calmly to them, but show them thatthere is nothing to be frightened off.

·      Never punish your petswhen they're scared as this will only makes things worse in the long run.

·      A quiet place such asa travel kennel or carrier, may provide your petwith a sense of security and comfort.

·       Before the fireworks start, expend your dog’sexcess energy, by taking a very long walk to tire, and get the animal into acalm state.

·       Keep dogs away from windows - some frightened dogshave hurt themselves jumping through glass.

·      A nutritious meal around nightfall is recommended, this will make themmore likely to be sleepier!

·       If you must be outside with your dog, keep the peton a leash or in a carrier at all times.

·       Practice fire safety. Keep pet away from matches,open fires, and fireworks - especially ones that are lighted on the ground.Dogs may try to sniff, eat or fetch thrown fireworks, and pet hair can easilycatch fire if too close to the fireworks.

·       If possible, make sure that your pets have time torelieve themselves. Some pets are too frightened to go outside once thefireworks start and this may lead to an "accident" later on.


About the Author

Stefanie Bosman is passionate about improvingthe quality of life of pets, and the humans that love them – one fur kid at atime! She is the owner of Cosmic Pets™, offering a wide range of products thatare pet approved and people friendly. For more information visit or contact, 


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