July 4th celebrations are right around the corner, bringing with them fireworks, sparklers, and cap guns, all of which can be frightening for even the most well-adjusted pets. Hot, humid, summer weather can also spark thunderstorms across much of our country, adding to the troubles experienced by noise-phobic pets. While many veterinarians prescribe tranquilizers and sedatives, I prefer to try more natural methods first.

First and foremost, find an area in your home that can be designated as a safe space for your pet. This may be an area under the stairs, in a large closet, or in the basement. The safe space should be away from windows or in an area where room darkening shades can block windows. By blocking visibility to the outside, the pets are not able to see the flashes of light associated with lightning and fireworks. If an area is available below ground (like the basement), that will also help decrease vibrations associated with the loud noise of thunder and fireworks.

Some pets will be more comfortable in their crates, while others will only escalate their panicked state if crated. There are many non-medicating products available to help your pets cope with their fears. By implementing training before storm and fireworks season, it may be possible to keep your pets calm when an event occurs. But if the season has arrived and your pet is still fearful, here are some ideas to help your pets cope:

  • Homeopet TFLN (thunderstorms, fireworks, and loud noises): Homeopathic remedy provides relief from fear of: Fireworks, Wind, Loud Noises, Gunshots. Restless, anxious and unwanted behavior can be helped with this fast acting, non-sedating liquid.
  • Homeopet Storm Stress: A safe, effective remedy that promotes calm in pets exhibiting fear from: Thunderstorms Wind Hurricanes Tornados Restlessness, anxious and unwanted behavior can be helped with this fast acting liquid. Professional strength.
  • Kin + Kind CALM spray: Bring calm to your pet with soothing hints of rose. Perfect for focus and relaxation.
  • CocoTherapy Macaroons: Be sure to have a treat to reward for pet for remaining calm. Maggie’s Macaroons are made of organic coconut and coconut oil. They are RAW, vegan, grain and gluten free, dairy free, no eggs, and made with no preservatives, colors, or artificial flavors.
  • Botanical Animal Mellow Out flower essence: Mellow Out helps to calm the nervous or jittery animals that may be moody, irritable or on edge all the time. For overly anxious and anticipatory animals that tend to lose control easily. Great to use prior to competition, thunderstorms, or firework displays.
  • Botanical Animal Panic Attack flower essence: Panic Attack helps to alleviate hysterical behavior or extreme terror arising out of feelings of abandonment. Eases feelings of isolation when left behind or left home alone. Subdues the sense of panic that may drive them to self-induced bodily harm.
  • Calming herbs like Rx Vitamins Nutricalm: NutriCalm features pharmaceutical grade L-tryptophan, an essential amino acid which is converted to serotonin in the brain. In addition, the herbs ashwaganda, theanine and valerian root help soothe and relax naturally, effectively and safely.
  • Thundershirts: ThunderShirt’s patented design applies a gentle, constant pressure that has a dramatic calming effect for over 80% of dogs. Most effective anxiety solution as voted by veterinarians Already helping hundreds of thousands of dogs and cats across the country Great for storms, separation, travel and many other anxieties.
  • CBD oil or treats: Cannabinoid oils have been shown to be effective at decreasing anxiety.
  • Soothing music can help calm pets. There are quite a few companies that produce music specifically made to calm anxiety. Earpllugs and headphones are also available to decrease noise intensity. Simple cotton balls may work well for some dogs.
  • For more information on training your pets, check out the webinar offered by  Tonya Wilhelm, pet trainer and blogger, as she discusses training your pet to be fearless during storms and fireworks.

Avoid drugging your pets if at all possible. Medications may have serious side effects.

Many pets will need more than one form of therapy. Homeopathic products can be combined with flower essences, Thundershirts or capes, calming herbs, and soothing music. Help your pets cope by remaining calm and helping them through the event.