The 5th of November…….a night to remember apparently! However, if I’m being brutally honest, it’s a night I’d much rather forget altogether – as I’m sure is the case for many pet owners across the country. Sadly bonfire night and firework displays can cause a huge amount of stress for our poor furry friends, and finding something that really works when it comes to alleviating their anxiety can prove a difficult task.
As Poppy has got older, she has developed a real fear of fireworks, she doesn’t flinch at the sound of gun shot, but fireworks are a different story. ‘Party Season’ for me has become shrouded with dread at the thought of my poor girl shaking, panting and cowering with fear under the bed. If only fireworks were restricted to just one night of the year, it would be easier to prepare for, but these days there seems be an eight week window when people randomly let them off at various celebrations throughout the season.
Recently I was introduced to a product called Pet Remedy, a formula aimed to help relieve anxiety and stress in pets. Developed and made in the UK by a team of veterinary professionals, and aromatherapy experts, this natural product works in harmony with your pet’s own natural calming mechanisms. Created using Valerian absolute oil and other essential oils it works by tricking the brain into thinking it is receiving a calming message, which is why, unlike other products designed for the same purpose, it gets to work straight away.
Valerian absolute oil has been used for centuries as an effective and safe way to promote a state of calm. However, many Valerian products can be too potent, and can sedate rather calm pets. Pet Remedy uses a low concentration of Valerian, providing the right balance to ease anxiety and stress in animals whose nerve cells are over-stimulated.
What makes Pet Remedy different from other products?
As opposed to Pet Remedy, which I’ve already mentioned, works with the animal’s own calming mechanisms, similar products on the market work by mimicking the pheromones produced by the dog’s/ or animal’s mother. Whilst, in theory, this sounds like it would comfort your dog, the reality is that for dogs who spent little or no time with their mother during puppyhood, or even for senior dogs whose puppy days were a long time ago, it’s not surprising these products can have little or no effect on them.
Pet Remedy have a range of products to choose from, all of which you can find by visiting their website. For the purpose of this review however, I’m going to concentrate on the products that we were sent to try.
This should be plugged into the room where your dog/ pet spends most of their time. It lasts for up to 60 days and is cheap to run as it only uses 5 watts of electricity. It has quite a strong scent, but it’s not unpleasant at all – I actually find quite calming myself if I’m being honest! [Lets face it, I’d put up with the smell of anything if it meant it helped Pops] Unlike similar products on the market which need to be plugged in weeks in advance to have any effect [not very practical if you don’t know when people are going to set off fireworks] Pet Remedy starts to work immediately once it is plugged in, releasing the calming aroma into the surrounding area.
This comes in a handy 15ml spray bottle (refillable from a 200ml bottle of the same product) and lasts for between 2 – 6 hours, depending on the individual pet. It works in the same way as the diffuser and helps your pet to become more responsive and attentive to you. Because of its water based, PH neutral formula, it means you can spray it on their coat or bedding without causing any harm.
Pet Remedy Individual Calming Wipes – Perfect for on the go!
These are fantastic for when you’re out and about. Made using exactly the same Valerian absolute oil formula as other Pet Remedy products, they come in handy individual sachets which you can pop in your bag and keep with you at all times.
As you will know, I love to take Pops to as many places as possible, but now and again (particularly in her older age) she can find some situations quite stressful for no apparent reason. For instance, if we’re in a pub and it’s a bit echoey or noisy she can become very restless, so these wipes will be perfect to have with us so I can tuck one into her collar or wipe it gently around her muzzle to keep her calm. I will also be using them on our next dreaded trip to the vet [seriously I end up looking more like a Jack Russell than Pops when we have to sit in the waiting room!]
Does Pet Remedy work?
It certainly does! Within ten minutes of plugging in the diffuser, there was a definite change in Poppy’s demeanour, she went from being in a state of complete panic – looking for a safe place to hide and refusing cuddles, to lying next to me on the sofa, allowing me to stroke her ears and to comfort her. Pet Remedy is not designed to have a sedative effect on dogs, but to alleviate stress and make them more responsive to us, allowing us interact with them and distract them from their fear. Poppy was still aware of the fireworks, and still reacted when she heard loud bangs, but unlike normal when her reaction is to frantically lick her lips, starting panting uncontrollably and look for somewhere to hide, she allowed us to interact with her and even accepted treats, something that she’ll never do when she’s anxious. As we all know, dogs never forget, so to eradicate any learnt behaviour is almost impossible, they are still going to react in some way, but if we can interact with them and help to calm them down this is a huge improvement and spares us the agony of watching them suffer.
I used the Pet Remedy spray in conjunction with the diffuser, and both things together really helped her to remain calm. I sprayed the formula on to a bandana, which I then tied loosely around Poppy’s neck. You can also spray it onto your fingers and rub it gently over their muzzle, or under their chin to achieve the same calming effect. It needs reapplying every couple of hours and the longer Poppy was subjected to the aroma of the Pet Remedy, the more relaxed she became.
I am so grateful to Pet Remedy for creating a product that really does work, it’s definitely something that we’ll always keep to hand so it’s there when we need it in the future. Since trying it, I’ve recommended it to so many people who’ve all said how much it has helped their pet to cope, not just with fireworks, but other stressful situations, like travelling, too.
We’d love to hear from you in the comments below if you’ve found Pet Remedy has helped your pet.
Stay safe and paws crossed for a stressless party season.
Woofs and Wags
Kate and Pops