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Pets and Fireworks (And How CBD Can Help)

Summer, summer, summertime! Time to sit back and unwind, am I right? While this may be true for you and Will Smith, the same might not always be the case for your four-legged family members. They might love the warm weather and the barbecues, but there’s one aspect of summertime that our pets often hate. Fireworks. The dazzling spectacles and colorful explosions are fun for us, but for dogs and cats, fireworks can be deeply upsetting. I know my dogs are like Joe Dirt’s friend Kicking Wing. Snakes and sparklers are the only ones they like.

Pets and Fireworks (And How CBD Can Help)

Here at The Green Dragon CBD, we want everyone to have as much fun this summer as possible, and that includes our animal friends too. In this article we’ll look at why our pets are so afraid of fireworks, how CBD can help them stay calm, and what we can do to ease their fears during those noisy summer celebrations so they can have the best Fourth of July since Thomas Jefferson. So, let’s make like a bottle rocket and get (fire) cracking.

Why Is My Pet Afraid of Fireworks?

Pets and Fireworks (And How CBD Can Help)

Fireworks are fun. Pets like having fun. So, what’s the problem here? The truth is our pets hate fireworks for a similar reason to why we like fireworks. The sudden explosion, the loud claps of noise, and the brilliant lights are startling, which cause the brain to release adrenaline as part of a mammal’s fight or flight response. However, as humans, we understand what is happening is just a harmless and entertaining display of light and sound that is meant to dazzle rather than dismay. This enjoyment is akin to the same joyful adrenaline rush we get from roller coasters, ziplines, or even haunted houses.

Pets and Fireworks (And How CBD Can Help)

However, the same is not true for our furry counterparts. As much as we’d like to explain what fireworks are to Buddy or Mittens, the reality is, to them, it’s just a bunch of loud, terrifying, and inexplicable booms. Their fight or flight response is also activated, but without the transformative comfort of understanding what’s going on. This leaves our pets with an influx of anxiety-inducing adrenaline, no possibility of escape from the barrage of blasts, and no explanation for what the threat is.

Pets and Fireworks (And How CBD Can Help)

And it’s not just that our pets don’t understand what is making those bangs and booms they can’t escape from. Our pets also typically have far more sensitive hearing than humans. Cats and dogs can not only hear a much wider range of frequencies than humans, they also can hear sounds from much farther away than humans. According to the American Kennel Club, dogs can hear sounds as far as four times farther away than a human can, and the same is true of cats. So, when the grand finale of that fireworks extravaganza hits, it’s like your dog is hearing it through Spinal Tap’s amp with the volume turned to 11.  

There are also certain predispositions that can make your pet either more or less sensitive to the noise made by fireworks than other pets. Some breeds may have a genetic predisposition to be more sensitive to loud noises. Others, like beagles or pointers, that have been bred for hunting may be more comfortable with the noise made by fireworks. Dogs who have been rescued from abusive environments may also be more sensitive to loud noises in general, because they may have experiences that link loud noises (like yelling) to abuse. But just because your pet is afraid of fireworks, does not mean you can’t help. Up next, we’ll go over how to tell if your pet is experiencing anxiety from fireworks and what you can do to keep them happy and comfortable when the sparks start flying.

How To Tell If My Pet Is Afraid?

It’s a safe bet that you know your pet well, so you probably have a good idea when they’re feeling anxious or uncomfortable, but let’s go over the tell-tale signs in both cats and dogs, just in case there are some you might not have known you needed to clue in on.

Signs of Anxiety in Dogs

Pets and Fireworks (And How CBD Can Help)
  • Shaking or quivering
  • Whimpering or whining
  • Hiding
  • Seeking comfort from owners
  • Excessive salivating
  • Urinating

Signs of Anxiety in Cats

  • Pacing or restlessness
  • Excessive meowing
  • Freezing in place
  • Hiding
  • Dilated pupils
  • Hair standing up

Now that we know what the signs are, let’s talk about how we can help them feel calm, starting with CBD.

How CBD Can Help Calm Your Pet

If you aren’t totally sure what CBD is and how it can help your pet, we’re here to break it down for you. CBD is a chemical compound known as a cannabinoid that is derived from the hemp plant. When ingested, it interacts with a mammal’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) to help the body regulate a variety of functions.

CBD can help your pet in a variety of ways, including reducing pain, improving digestion, and managing seizures. For this conversation, the most important benefit of CBD for your pet is its impact on anxiety. CBD is a perfectly safe, healthy, and drug-free way to calm your dog in a variety of stressful situations, including those involving fireworks. If you’re skeptical, I don’t blame you, so don’t take my word for it. Veterinarians.org agrees that CBD is a great way to help your dog stay calm and happy during scary circumstances. If you’d like to learn more about the ways CBD can benefit your pet’s health and well-being, you can check out our collection of blog posts on CBD for pets here.

Here at The Green Dragon CBD, we carry a variety of CBD products from reputable producers like Honest Paws that use high quality ingredients and state of the art facilities to design products specifically for pets. In fact, they even have a line of products called Calm that are especially crafted for your pet’s more anxious moments. The Calm line comes in the form of CBD oil, bites, soft chews, and even peanut butter. 

FAQs

Why is my pet afraid of fireworks?

Because our pets have such sensitive hearing, the loud noises of fireworks can represent a threat to our pets and activate their fight or flight response, triggering their fear and anxiety.

Is CBD safe for my pet?

Yes! CBD is perfectly safe for pets and many companies design CBD products specifically to benefit the health and wellness of pets.

How can CBD help my pet’s fear of fireworks?

One of the ways CBD can benefit pets is by reducing anxiety and providing a calming effect. Veterinarians agree that CBD administered before a stressful experience can help calm a pet. These experiences can include vet visits, car rides, and fireworks.

How else can I help my pet stay calm during fireworks?

It helps to provide comfort and support to pets during fireworks. Easy access to favorite toys, physical affection, and a place to feel safe can all help ease a pet’s anxiety. If you have your pet at an event with fireworks, it is important that they are on a leash and wearing identification.

Other Strategies to Help Keep Your Pet Calm

There are also a variety of ways you can help your pet feel comforted and calm when the loud noises of fireworks set their nerves on edge. Some of these strategies include:

  • Provide comforting items like their favorite toys, pillows, or blankets
  • Keep your pets at home if you know an event will have fireworks
  • Use positive reinforcement to desensitize negative reactions to loud noises
  • Provide physical affection and comfort to anxious pets
  • Put their bed in a corner or under a table where they may feel safe

Remember, a pet’s reaction to fireworks is a manifestation of a mammal’s fight or flight response. It is vital that you keep this in mind when you take them to an event that will have fireworks. The loud noises may cause a pet that would normally stay at your side to dart away, putting them in danger of getting lost or being harmed in traffic. If you are taking your pet to a celebration with fireworks, be sure to always keep them on a lead and make sure they have tags that identify them and their home. 

The Grand Finale

If the rocket’s red glare and bombs bursting in air give your pet a scare, CBD could be just what you need. Veterinarians agree that adding CBD to your pet’s diet can help reduce the anxiety they feel when those loud noises come booming. You can browse our wide variety of CBD products for pets to find exactly what you need to help your pet enjoy their summer, but if you still have questions, we’d be more than happy to help. Feel free to drop a line in the comments or reach out to one of our representatives through our contact link.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR, SCOTT JONES

Scott Jones is a freelance writer, author, and digital marketer from Akron, Ohio. He loves to research and write about any and all topics that fascinate him, including CBD. He could afford to watch a few fewer movies and eat a few more vegetables. Connect with him on LinkedInInstagram, or read other posts by Scott.

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