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Pet anxiety during fireworks season

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Remember remember the 5th of November

Remember this rhyme? An important date for pet owners to note as this is the day that Guy Fawkes is (still) celebrated. Unfortunately, this day is marked by loud and bright firework displays which can cause a lot of distress in animals and their owners alike. We wanted to look at the history of Guy Fawkes and why fireworks have an adverse reaction in animals, specifically dogs. We also look at ways to assist your pet’s anxiety during this time so you can get through this festive period peacefully while keeping your favourite fur family member safe.

The history of Guy Fawkes

Guy Fawkes was a failed rebellion attack to kill King James the 1st. Explosives were placed under the house of Lords in an effort to kill the king. The man protecting the explosives was Guy Fawkes, he was arrested and the plot failed. People around London lit bonfires to celebrate King James life and the 5th of November later became known as Guy Fawkes day. In later years, people started celebrating this day with extravagant firework displays. In recent years, people are starting to realize the dangers of these firework displays, especially the negative effects they have on animals. In fact, fireworks are illegal in South Africa EXCEPT during Diwali, Guy Fawkes and New Years eve. Unfortunately, Guy Fawkes and Diwali fall within a couple of days of each other meaning that November is ‘firework’ month. There is also a huge illegal firework trade in South Africa, making fireworks easy to obtain with often reckless behaviour. Firework displays may be beautiful to watch but we have to consider the safety and well-being of our pets over our own enjoyment.

The effects of fireworks on our pets

Did you know that dogs (and other animals) can hear twice as loud as humans? Humans can hear between 20 and 20 000 hertz while dogs can hear between 40 and 40 000 hertz making them much more sensitive to explosive sounds. These noises are not only disturbing but can also lead to loss of hearing and tinnitus in dogs. Dogs can handle loud noise if they can perceive them in advance. For example, the noise from a thunderstorm will come with previous warning signs so the dog is able to anticipate the noise. Fireworks, however, are sudden and unidentifiable which can cause an unexpected fright. Dogs will experience extreme anxiety as they cannot escape from the sound and they will try desperately to run away. This can lead to injury as dogs jump off high ledges or try to escape through narrow and sharp openings. Dogs will try to escape and hide or may even freeze up completely. Dogs react the same way to fireworks as humans do to post traumatic stress. Many dogs go missing in South Africa over November as they try to escape the ‘war zone’ that they experience during this time. Dogs are most adversely affected by fireworks, but these have a negative effect on other animals as well and measures need to be taken to keep your favourite fur friend safe and calm during this time

Keep your pet safe and calm during ‘firework’ month

There are a few things you can do to ease your pet’s anxiety during this time:

  • Try Nature’s Relief CBD Pet Drops. CBD is a natural alternative with no negative side effects that works to keep your pet calm. Nature’s Relief can help to modulate basal anxiety which can eliminate negative emotions surrounding triggers like fireworks and PTSD in animals. CBD has a calming effect on the central nervous system. Every mammal has an endocannabinoid system with receptors that tell the cells how to heal and restore homeostasis. Dogs have twice the amount of receptors as humans which means CBD is incredibly effective in helping to create calm within them.
  • Try to stay home with your pet to comfort them.
  • Create a safe space for your animal where they cannot harm themselves.
  • Block out as much sound as possible by closing windows and muffling doors with towels etc. Play soothing music.
  • Put comforting items around your pet such as their favourite toy or blanket.

Nature’s Relief natural solution

Nature’s Relief offers both CBD oil and CBD dog biscuits to help you and your pet during this time. Our CBD for Pets can be used to calm your pet during storms, fireworks and other events that might cause stress and anxiety. We do also provide Dog Biscuits infused with CBD oil used to promote calmness, alleviate discomfort and balance your pet’s body in a natural way. Both these products are available on our website:

Or you can visit us in our Joburg or Durban store. We are here to help 😊

Johannesburg: 063 502 2974
Durban: 081 441 6701

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