Pet and neighbour friendly fireworksGlenn Plume
Pet friendly fireworks? YES, they really do exist!
It’s very well documented that not everyone likes fireworks. They can cause distress and panic for pets and people alike. At Love Fireworks we want to cater for everyone which is why we have a fantastic range of pet friendly fireworks on offer in our Quiet Fireworks range.
We appreciate that many dogs, horses and cattle are scared by the loud bangs and bright flashes of traditional fireworks. We also realise that fireworks can come as a shock to neighbouring properties if they’re not expecting them! Quiet or low-noise fireworks are becoming more and more popular – not just for professional fireworks displays but also for retail customers.
Quiet or low-noise fireworks can also be pet friendly fireworks. They can be equally as impressive as their noisier counterparts and the effects available are becoming wider every year. Stunning gold horsetails create mini golden waterfalls in the sky. Falling leaves create multicoloured raindrops that come spinning gracefully down like sycamore leaves. Coloured comets soar into the night sky without a bang to be heard.
If you’re a dog owner there is a LOT that can be done to help if you plan ahead. We think Victoria Stilwell has LOTS of good advice on her page from which we’ve taken this excerpt.
Conditioning a dog to feel differently about the sound of fireworks can be achieved by gradually exposing the dog to audio recordings of fireworks at low volume levels and, if the dog appears relaxed, playing his favourite game or feeding him his favourite food. Introducing the audio at a low level again and slowly turning up the volume if the dog continues to be relaxed and able to concentrate on playing the game or eating the food allows the dog to habituate to the noise without a fear response. If the dog shows signs of stress, going back to the previous level and building up the noise level again will take pressure off the dog.
The object of noise desensitisation is to gradually expose the dog to louder and louder sounds over a period of time, progress being determined by the dog’s reactions. Going too fast might make the dog even more frightened, so taking things slowly will ensure maximum benefit from the process.
Gradually exposing the dog to flashes of light that grow in intensity can be another part of therapy, but one that can be harder to implement. I have found that these therapies are often not as effective as noise desensitization. Some dogs will respond well to all of the above therapies, but will become panicked when the real fireworks start. It is therefore important to tackle this phobia in other ways by using effective management strategies and by masking any audio and visual stimuli that elicit a fear response during an episode.
The most important thing an owner can do for their fireworks-phobic dog is to provide them with a bolt hole – a place where the dog can escape to when the festivities begin. Providing the dog access to this safe place is essential at all times, particularly during an owner’s absence. This might be a bathroom or a basement, the best places usually being the ones that have no windows, but with plenty of artificial light to mask the flashes of the fireworks. Music can be played close to the safe haven so that sounds can be masked.
Of course, as the person that is setting fireworks off there is a lot you can do too. Give your neighbours (especially those with dogs or horses) plenty of notice that you intend to have fireworks. Let them know what time they are due to start and give them an idea how long they will go on for, Forewarned is forearmed! We think pet friendly fireworks are here to stay and will become more and more popular BUT, while consumers still have access to noisier fireworks and whilst there are still dog and horse owners that are against fireworks, we should all work together to ensure that all parties are well informed to avoid conflict.