One of the most dreaded holidays for people with pets has arrived. There’s nothing worse than seeing our beloved animal companions in a heightened level of fear that we can’t alleviate. The potentiality of their impending distress can conjure up a multitude of emotions within people with just the thought of fireworks.
July 5th historically is the highest intake day of the year at all animal rescue organizations due to animals trying to run away from the sound of fireworks so please keep your animals inside. In addition, take all the normal precautions you likely already do with your animals to maintain their safety by assuring they have a safe place, putting on calming music, etc.
Firework distress in pets is even more prevalent in these times of neighborhood fireworks that occur many evenings throughout the year now. After two decades of working with animals and their people around this topic, I have seen many distressed animals calm down during fireworks when their people embrace and try on a few of my holistic tips to promote a more peaceful experience.
It is important to remember that those who set off the fireworks do not have malicious, anti-animal intentions. They are just wanting to have fun!
Your energy and emotions are enmeshed with your animal companions. So you’ll want to check-in with yourself to see what emotions are coming up for you about fireworks. While understandable that you might be frustrated or angry with those that set them off, those feelings will not help your animal feel more peaceful and have less stress.
You can be an advocate for changing the laws with fireworks by contacting the appropriate officials in your city and county. But in the heat of the moment and in advance of the fireworks, you’ll help your animal the most by keeping your emotions in the state you’d like your pet to feel…because they don’t miss a thing about how you are feeling.
1. In advance of the fireworks, watch your thoughts and try as best as you can to release your fears about your pet’s usual or potential reaction to the fireworks. They pick up on the visuals in your mind and stories you tell about their behavior, and might inadvertently think this is the behavior you want and expect from them. Focus on seeing them calm, peaceful and safe... and even anticipate this new behavior from them.
2. Try as best as you can to remain calm, grounded and be a role model for the behavior you desire for them.
3. Instead of over-coddling them, empower them through consiously expanding the energy at your solar plexus at your upper belly area, which is the seat of confidence and empowerment. Comfort your animal as needed of course, but also visualize them being strong and courageous. Tell them they are brave and believe it. Every being has a brave warrior within to tap into during stressful times.
4. Reward any small changes in their behavior to being brave with positive reinforcement.
Try these easy tips and at the minimum you will feel better. And whenever you feel better, your animal does too. May you and your animals have a safe and enjoyable holiday!