Firework Fear: 4 Ways To Comfort and Calm Our Companion Animals

With Bonfire Night and Diwali celebrations in Autumn, the bright lights, burning fires and explosions of fireworks can be very scary for many animals. Dogs and cats have a sense of hearing and smell that is much more sensitive than ours and so even small fireworks can induce considerable stress. Here a few natural ways of helping to reduce anxiety for our companion animals.

Bach Rescue Remedy

Bach Flower Essences use vibrational medicine, the essence and energy of the plant, to help affect positive change, for both us and our animals. I personally have used many for myself and my animals and have found them to be very useful and incredibly supportive. Bach Rescue Remedy is a must have in my apothecary, for both humans and animals alike.

Bach now offer a version especially for animals that is alcohol free. I have used the human version for my cats without incident - the alcohol amounts they receive are very low - but it is always advisable to use an alcohol free version where possible,

Rescue Remedy contains a variety of flower essences for use in times of a stress emergency including Star of Bethlehem, Rock Rose, Cherry Plum, Impatiens and Clematis. Rock Rose is especially useful during times of panic or fear including vet visits, thunderstorms and fireworks.

How to use: 2 drops on your fingers applied to the tips of ears or on top of the head, between the ears. 2-4 drops can also be added to a large bowl of their drinking water.

Valerian Root

Valerian officinalis

Valerian officinalis is a perennial plant whose roots are often used in phytotherapy (herbal medicine) as a mild sedative. I have found the tea infusion to be excellent for anxiety and I use the essential oil in my practice for clients who experience consistent, ongoing stress and who have difficulty sleeping. Valerian root has a distinctive scent that won't appeal to everyone - it is hard to describe but it is quite potent and once smelled is forever remembered!

Dried Valerian root

How to Use: Many cats love Valerian root, often reacting the same way they do to Catnip, enjoying rolling in it. It can be sprinkled on the floor for both dogs and cats. A mild infusion can also be added to drinking water - quarter of a tsp of Valerian root in a cup of warm water, cooled and strained, and then added to drinking water.

Important: Before considering herbal medicine for your companion animal, please seek the advice of a professional Herbal Veterinarian. Herbal medicines are potent and suitability and dosage is often dependent on the animal's current state of health, breed, weight and other important factors. Please see the links at the bottom of this post for a qualified Herbal Veterinarian in Glasgow that I personally use to support the health of my own companion animals.

Comfort Wrap For Dogs

Image credit: Doggie Drawings by Lili Chan

This wrap is a simple and quick way to help comfort and calm dogs, using acupressure and gentle, constant, maintained pressure to relieve stress and lessen fears. there are specific wraps that are available to buy but it can be done easily with a scarf gently but securely wrapped around the body. It is only effective when used sparingly as the sensations are normalised for the dog and the initial calming is often no longer effective.

Reiki For Animals

Animals can benefit as much as we do from Reiki, which is a system of energetic medicine and holistic healing that incorporates life force energy to encourage changes in our auric energy layers, which are energetic pathways that surround our bodies, and animals' bodies too.

Reiki is often useful for animals who are nervous or sensitive in disposition, or for animals who have experienced historical abuse or trauma. During times of stress - like Bonfire Night - Reiki is useful in both the days leading up to the event and the days following it.

Reiki is emotionally supportive and an effective therapy to help induce a deep sense of relaxation and safety. I share Reiki with my own companion animals during times of stress and the results are incredibly positive.


This post is intended for information purposes only and not medical advice - please visit the terms page for more details . Please seek advice from your Veterinarian and, if you are considering herbal medicine for your companion animal(s), please consult a professional, qualified Herbal Veterinarian.

Useful Links

Bach Rescue Remedy For Animals

Herbal Veterinary Services in Glasgow

Reiki For Animals

Further Information

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