How to calm dogs on bonfire night? Some herbs contain anxiety-easing properties, which can help dogs keep calm on bonfire nights.
Here are 3 canine-friendly herbal remedies that you can try. Learn their appropriate dosage amount and know what side effects to be aware of.
Passionflower has active ingredients that help a dog scared of fireworks become sedated and relaxed. This herb stimulates the release of the feel-good chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain.
Doing so lowers brain cell activity, giving an uplifting effect on the mood of stressed canines.
How to calm dogs on bonfire night using passionflower:
Passionflower can be given to dogs in its dried or infused form. Add them to your dog’s food or mix them in his water.
Here is the herb’s dosage guideline according to your pooch’s weight:
- Dogs under 30 pounds (13 kilos): 0.25–0.5 milliliters
- Dogs 30–60 pounds (13–27 kilos): 0.5–1.0 milliliters
- Dogs over 60 pounds (27 kilos): 1.0–2.0 milliliters
Give him passionflower 1–3 times a day during the firework season. Note that it takes around 30–40 minutes for the herb’s calming effect to kick in. It can keep your furry pal sedated for 6–12 hours, depending on the dosage.
Potential side effects and contraindications:
- Excessive dosage can cause problems.
Never let your dog have too much passionflower, as it can induce dizziness, drowsiness, and confusion.
Whilst these are only mild side effects, they might worsen his anxiety instead of alleviating it. For this reason, do not go over the advised dosage amount.
- Do not administer on pregnant or lactating dogs.The herb is a uterine stimulant that can cause contractions in pregnant dogs. To prevent the risk of unwanted abortion, using it on them should be avoided.
- This herb can cause drug interactions with certain medicines.It is not advised to give dogs passionflower if they are also taking synthetic sedatives or medications for the nervous system. Make sure to get the vet’s advice first before giving this herb to a medicated pooch.
When bonfire night is fast approaching, numerous dog owners ask: “What can I give my dog to calm down during fireworks?” Chamomile is a dog-safe herb that aids in calming down canines during firework displays.
It acts as a natural sedative, which helps relax the muscles found in the blood vessels and digestive tract. This, in turn, eases the blood pressure and lowers the anxiety and stress of pooches.
Chamomile also possesses antispasmodic properties. They are beneficial to dogs that experience stomach upset when distressed after hearing loud noises.
How to calm dogs on bonfire night using chamomile:
- Steep 2 tablespoons of dried chamomile flowers or 4 chamomile tea bags in 1 cup of boiling water for 30 minutes.
- Consider mixing in a tablespoon of honey to sweeten the chamomile tea and make it enticing for your dog.
- Allow the tea to cool down before giving it to your furry pal. You can either mix it in his food or water. Administering the tea using a medicinal syringe is also an option that you can take.
- Small dogs can have around ¼ tablespoon of chamomile tea.
- Medium-sized and large breeds can be given up to 1 tablespoon.
Administer chamomile tea to your canine friend every 2–3 hours.
Potential side effects and contraindications:
- Overdosing is counterproductive.
- This herb can trigger allergies.Dogs allergic to any plant belonging to the daisy family should not be given chamomile. Otherwise, allergic reactions such as breathing difficulties, facial swelling, and gastrointestinal upset may ensue.
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- Chamomile may interact with certain drugs.
Avoid administering this herb without the vet’s go signal if your dog is medicated, especially with the following drugs:
Chamomile intake, along with these medications, may reduce or increase their potency, which can be dangerous for your dog.
- Use it on pregnant or lactating dogs with caution.
Excessive intake of chamomile can cause problems in pregnant canines, such as the constriction of uterine tissues. Always stick to the recommended dosage to avoid these dangers.
- Chamomile is not recommended for certain dogs with ailments.
This herb may exacerbate some canine illnesses, including diabetes, breathing issues, and low blood pressure. So keep it away from dogs that are suffering from these health problems. Also, note that pooches scheduled for surgery should not be given chamomile due to its blood-thinning properties.
2. Cannabidiol Oil (CBD)
Does CBD help dogs with fireworks? Yes, it can. CBD oil is a natural calming remedy for dogs scared of fireworks.
It is believed to encourage the release of endocannabinoid chemicals, which boost the body’s serotonin production. This lightens your canine companion’s anxiety and stabilises his mood.
Many dog owners are concerned that CBD might have a psychoactive effect on their dogs. Unlike marijuana, it does not contain the hallucinogenic chemical called THC. Hence, canines are not in danger of getting high if given CBD.
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How to calm dogs on bonfire night using CBD:
The recommended dosage of CBD oil for dogs is 0.1–0.2 milligrams per kilogram of weight. Administer twice a day.
We advise giving your pooch CBD oil 30 minutes to 1 hour before firework sounds start booming. This allows more time for this natural calming remedy to work on his system.
Opt for administering CBD oil directly to your dog orally, as it kicks in within 20–30 minutes. On the other hand, CBD-infused dog treats take effect much slower, about 45–90 minutes.
When choosing CBD oil for canines, go for the full spectrum than the isolate variety. This type contains the highest concentrations of the plant’s natural compounds, making it more effective in keeping your dog calm.
Potential side effects and contraindications:
- Too much CBD oil can be harmful.Avoid overdosing your dog with CBD oil, as it can cause many health concerns. Its most common side effects on pooches are dry mouth, excessive drowsiness, low blood pressure, and light-headedness.
- It is not the best option for dogs with liver problems.
Some vets observed that dogs metabolise CBD oil in their liver. It can potentially increase the production of liver enzymes more than necessary.
Thus, they advise against using it on dogs with liver issues as it can strain their liver function.
Do Not Take Fireworks Season Lightly
Can dogs die from fireworks? Dogs and fireworks do not go well. Although rare, fireworks can cause death in canines. There were reports of dogs succumbing to heart problems due to the extreme fear elicited by the loud sounds and bright flashing lights.
Dogs with fragile cardiac functions are highly susceptible to this life-threatening danger. These include puppies, senior dogs, and pooches with pre-existing heart issues.
In some cases, dogs run away from their homes out of panic. This leaves them vulnerable to accidents such as getting hit by a car or stray fireworks. For this reason, taking steps to keep your dog calm is very important during bonfire night.
Other Tips for Dogs on Bonfire Night
Here is a list of things you can do to help dogs cope during this stressful time of year.
1. Pick the right time for walks.
Walk your dog in the mornings and expend his energy. So when evening comes around, there is no need to take him out and risk exposing him to fireworks.
2. Confine him in a safe space.
We often hear dog owners ask: “Should I crate my dog during fireworks?” If your dog is crate-trained, then the answer is yes. Keeping him inside the crate with his favourite toys and treats will make him feel safe.
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For pooches without crate training, do not force them into one. Or else they will become more distressed. Instead, place them in a dim and quiet room far away from the fireworks noises.
3. Keep doors and windows closed.
Another frequently asked question by dog parents is: “How do I keep my dog calm on bonfire night?”
Closing the doors and windows muffles the sound of fireworks, which can help your dog keep calm on bonfire night. Draw the curtains too, to prevent sudden light flashes from entering the room.
4. Update important information.
Always be prepared for worst-case scenarios. Make sure that dogs and cat microchip details are up-to-date. If your pet escapes the house, he will have a higher chance of reuniting with you.
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5. Keep yourself calm and collected.
Dogs are sensitive to their human companions’ emotions. Coddling them excessively during bonfire night will worsen their anxiety. So avoid fussing over your furry friend and just behave normally to ease his stress.
Read this article for in-depth top tips on how to calm dogs on bonfire night. If you followed all our advice but have little to no progress, seek help from a professional animal behaviourist.
They can help assess which preventive measures need to be adjusted to fit your dog’s situation.