As we come closer to Christmas and the New Year, it’s important to remember that our celebrations can have quite a negative impact upon our pets.  Christmas involves many changes in routine, parties, visitors and excessive noise in the neighbourhood.  Summertime also means a higher occurrence of thunderstorms.   New Years Eve can cause severe distress in our pets if they have a fear of fireworks.


Pets do not overcome their fear of noises or thunderstorms and most often the problem worsens with every exposure.  Products containing pheromones are available to help our cats and dogs cope with fear of fireworks. Pheromones are chemicals that animals use to communicate to one another.  There are many pheromones in the animal kingdom providing several different signals.


ADAPTIL™ (contains Dog Appeasing Pheromone) and Feliway® are synthetic copies of animals own natural pheromones and have been scientifically proven to reduce the behaviour of our pets that results from stress or anxiety.  ADAPTIL contains Dog Appeasing Pheromone, which is a synthetic copy of the natural appeasing pheromone that puppies are exposed to after birth when feeding from their mother.  When used on any age dog it mimics the properties of this natural reassuring signal, thus reducing anxiety and preventing fear and stress related behaviours.  ADAPTIL is scientifically proven to reduce the intensity of fear felt by a dog during firework exposure.   ADAPTIL is available in three convenient formulations.


Feliway® is a synthetic copy of the natural feline facial pheromone used by cats use to mark their environment as safe and familiar.  When used in the home it signals to cats that they are in a secure environment. Feliway® is scientifically proven to reassure cats and may help to reduce fearful reactions to loud noises and prevent stress due to indoor confinement.  Feliway® is available in a diffuser and a spray.


Follow these ten top tips to further help your pet cope with firework fears:

  1. Ensure your pet is safely inside and secure doors, windows and cat flaps.
  2. Allow your dog or cat to hide in a bolthole where they feel safe.
  3. You can further increase this feeling of security by plugging in an ADAPTIL or Feliway® diffuser.
  4. Speak to your vet about ADAPTIL spray; this can be sprayed onto a bandana tied around your dog’s neck or on their bedding to give them additional support.
  5. Make sure your dog or cat is microchipped.  If they do escape, frightened animals can easily get lost.
  6. In the few days before fireworks, ensure dogs are used to be taken for a walk early in the evening and cats have litter trays.
  7. Close all doors, windows and draw the curtains, play music and / or have the tv on to help mask the noise of fireworks.
  8. Comfort your pet in a reasonable manner and promote calm behaviour by displaying calm behaviour yourself.  Cats prefer to be left to cope on their own.Don’t get cross with or punish your pet, regardless of their behaviour, as it will only make them more distressed.
  9. Try not to leave your pet alone when fireworks are going off.  Pets may hurt themselves or cause damage when not supervised.
  10. After the fireworks season speak to your vet about treatment for fear of fireworks.  ADAPTIL and sounds desensitisation CD’s have been scientifically proven to be an effective combination for treating firework phobias in dogs.  Your vet may also wish to refer you to a qualified veterinary behaviourist.


Article provided by CEVA Animal Health Pty Ltd