Don’t let your best friend be ducking for cover this year. It is commonly known that many animals don't enjoy thunderstorms or fireworks. The answer as to why is pretty obvious… they are scary. Thunderstorms are natural part of life, and even though they are scary, some animals can get used to them over time. It's not to say that a fearful animal will stop reacting completely, but the dramatic fear will naturally lessen as they reduce the fight or flight response. Fireworks, however, are not a natural occurrence. This is where we come in as pet parents. It is our job to make sure that our best friends aren't so scared that they're hiding under the furniture or in their beds, afraid of the unknown noises outside. CBD can help! We all know the wonderful benefits of CBD and in some cases, you can avoid having to resort to pharmaceutical options.
Did you know that CBD can reduce not only the sensation of the fight or flight response, but it can even lower the blood pressure spike and chemical release in the brain to manageable levels? CBD helps boost the ECS in order to overcome these panicked situations. The ECS has the role of balancing numerous systems inside the body in order to maintain homeostasis. When our ECS is not equipped to deal with the surge of chemicals released during these types of stress responses, the sense of calm is lost.
Dogs can hear sounds 13-19 dB lower than humans can in low frequency ranges of 500-8000 Hz. In the higher frequency ranges, over 8000 Hz, dogs can hear even better. Humans top out at around 20000 Hz during the teenage years, and as we age we lose most frequencies above 12000 Hz. Dogs, however, can hear frequencies up to an astonishing 45000 Hz. Fireworks are typically 140 dB and well beyond the threshold of pain. This pain threshold of 120-140 dB was established using human ears, so imagine what our poor dogs feel when the neighbor is blasting off his professional grade fireworks at 1am.
It isn't just their sense of hearing that makes fireworks (and thunderstorms) such a challenging experience. Dogs also have a sense of smell that can be anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 times stronger than humans. So, while we are enjoying the fireworks in the distance, our dogs can most likely smell the sulfur and gunpowder making it almost like a warzone for them.
Unlike thunderstorms, dogs do not get the luxury of warnings like air pressure change, high winds, or static electricity with fireworks. Instead, the first loud bang immediately triggers the fight or flight response. This usually ends with dogs barking at the windows aggressively, hiding under the bed, or shaking on the couch hoping that mom and dad will protect them.
If you think CBD may help your pet, here are our top picks for the 4th of July:
- Calm for dogs 550mg has added lavender oil to help with even more calming sensation. Give 1ml dropper about 30mins before the festivities usually begin.
- NuLeaf Pet Oil is 3mg per drop no matter what size bottle you get, and it's one of our favorite pure oils.
- Source has been around for a while and is still a crowd favorite.
- Treatibles chews since not every dog likes oil, but almost every dog loves a treat. These are made with the same great CBD oil as their dropper bottles, made right into their tasty chews.
And don't forget that the 4th of July is a chance to use CBD for yourself as well if you need help with the stress of kids, family, hosting guests, planning the perfect BBQ, etc. Be sure to check out our selection of CBD oil or people.
Here are some additional tips to help your pet during fireworks and thunderstorms:
- Identify triggers. This may seem easy enough, but not all loud noises are scary to dogs. Some may find thunderstorms ok, but fireworks are terrifying. Loud music, especially a lot of bass, can also be a trigger for some dogs for the same reasons, it hurts their ears. Even for dogs that don't seem to mind fireworks, other dogs in your neighborhood barking might be just what they need to join the pack and howl into the darkness.
- Create an area of calm. Just like people, having a safe space where you feel calm and secure can make a huge difference. Sitting with them and making sure that they have their favorite toy or blanket can make a scary situation a lot better for them. Make sure that the room has some type of ambient noise, either a sound machine or soft music. You want to make sure that you can still have a normal conversation over the music though, too loud and you may be adding to the problem. Turning on a TV or a night light can also help with the flashes of light through the window. Another great option is diffusing essential oils. This can help create a sense of calm while also masking the smell of fireworks for our dogs.
- Distraction. What dog doesn't love toys, treats, squeakers, and play time. If you can keep them out of the fear mode, it is easy to move their attention to playtime instead. It's not always guaranteed to work, but it's worth a shot. Even 15 minutes of relief can be worth it.
- Love and comfort! A good snuggle is never overrated. Laying in your bed (or theirs) with your dog, talking softly and calmly while petting them, is one of the best natural approaches. This might be the perfect time to make a spot for your dog on your lap or next to you where they feel safest.