The effects of Thunder on animals and what to do about it

“I was in my room, relaxing and reading my favourite book.  Suddenly a bomb exploded in the house, or was it outside?  I don't know.

My body is shaking with fear.  My heart is beating, I can barely think.   Slowly I come by and assume it might have been a bomb that exploded.

I stumble onto my feet and make it to the door, but it is jammed.  The window is closed.  Am I now stuck inside?  Panic kicks into motion... What if another explosion takes place? My worst fear comes alive.  Another explosion goes off. 

What if the roof is going to collapse on me, I need to get out. I have no clue where this happening, but the pain in my body and ears is unbearable.  I need to get away.   Without any hesitation I run for the window and smash my body through the broken glass, cutting me everywhere. I must get out though.  I must get away.  I need help.”

Well, it is not so hard to imagine this horror, now is it?

But for your dog or cat, that is exactly how it feels when they hear loud explosions like thunder, lightning or fireworks.

The unexpected explosion (they have no idea it is #Diwali or #GuyFawkes or #NewYear or whatever us humans wish to celebrate.  Now double the volume that your ears can handle.  Double the fear of the unknown. 

 

Is this enough to start off a disastrous event of epic proportions… for the animals?

Whether it be jumping through glass windows, over spiked fences, running over a busy road, or worse, right into the line of fire, the animals will experience a moment in hell that not many of us will ever live to experience.  Every year, without fail.  The one place that they call home, will (again) become hell on earth.

Here is a video posted on Facebook by Fiona MacFarlane to BBC Radio Scottland after her dog experienced such a horror as mentioned above.

What does research tell us about the effects of Fireworks?

Research shows that not only can fireworks burn (fields, houses and living beings), but they also can cause very painful burst ear drums that could lead to permanent ear damage.  Fireworks cause air pollution, leaving heavy metal particles and dangerous toxins.

Fireworks emits sounds of up to 190 decibels, that is enough for serious ear damage to a human, let alone an animal that can hear much more than humans can.

What can be done for pets during Fireworks?

  • Give them medication to calm them down. PetCalm is very good, but you can also speak to your vet for further recommendations.
  • Place them in a safe dark place (kennel or cupboard) and turn on the radio.
  • Stay home with them and speak in a calm voice.
  • Educate your family about the effects of fireworks on small children and animals. Then educate your neighbours, and your communities.
  • Give them a ThunderShirt from A Pet's Life Online Shop or make one yourself. 
  • Here is a video by Dr Kate Adams to explain more about the Thundershirt and how it can help your pets.

If your pet does not respond to any of the above, please seek professional one-on-one advice from your local veterinarian or animal behaviourist.

 

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