Category Archives: Pets and Fireworks

Thundershirts Are Go

The latest idea from America to keep dogs calm in noisy environments has arrived – It’s called the Thundershirt. Originally developed for dogs that get disturbed when thunderstorms hit, has now found a new use as sales of the vest are escalating as we approach the fourth of July firework season. Three test “victims” Moses, Joker and Rowdy all tried the shirt all with some success.

Overall the results showed that the tight-fitting garment worked better when put on before the storm arrived to allow the dogs to get acclimatised. Dr Joe Landers, Cincinnati vet, who oversaw the tests, said the idea behind this vest is sound.

Melisa Lancaster’s dog Joker, used to wake her up whenever a crack of thunder shook the house wanting a cuddle, but since wearing the vest he seems a lot calmer when the vest was fitted before the storm arrived, working on the theory that he now feels swaddled and more secure.

Thundershirts are available online from $40 and available in different sizes.

Luckily here at Epic, we had a volunteer to test our own version of the garment, tests were inconclusive as he is so used to hearing the fireworks on our in-store plasma screens, he normally sleeps through them anyway, so not the best test subject on reflection.

thundershirt bruce


Herbal remedies for dogs on bonfire night

Over half of pets are reported to be afraid of loud noises and with Fireworks Night just around the corner, pet owners are being advised to treat their beloved pets with safe herbal Skullcap and Valerian tablets to calm their nerves.

For many pet owners, the start of the Firework season signs the start of distressing symptoms in their pets such as salivation, excessive shaking and destructive behaviour. Sometimes this fear is ingrained from birth, but it can also develop over time, meaning that as pets get older, the phobia becomes more and more extreme.

Skullcap and Valerian tablets are a safe, licensed, veterinary herbal medicine which relieves anxiety and nervousness in cats and dogs. The medicine can be given up to a week before firework night and can be continued until the end of the season. The treatment is also effective if used from the day before any firework celebrations. Tablets can be supplied with a pill crusher so that the powdered tablets can be added to food for easy administration.

Another tried and tested remedy is Organic Valerian Compound, which is in liquid form. This is effective from 30 minutes after the treatment is administered, and is particularly suitable for cats and dogs. The liquid can be added to food, or ingested straight from the dropper bottle. It can also be added to bedding to enhance the calming effect.

Both medicines are fully licensed by the Government’s Veterinary Medicines Licensing Authority are available online from Medicine4Animals, a brand owned by leading London Medical Herbalist Deborah Grant, who has officially endorsed the medicines available on Deborah explains: “21st Century Herbal Medicine is now being underpinned by scientific research and as such is becoming increasingly popular with more and more cat and dog owners turning to it for their pets as a safer, gentler alternative to pharmaceutical drugs with their sometimes unpleasant side-effect.”

Deborah, who practices at the world-renowned Hale Clinic in London, also claims that cats and dogs are benefiting from this natural treatment as there are no side-effects. Pet owners are also happy as treating common ailments suffered any serious health conditions should be seen by a veterinary surgeon. She recommends that Skullcap and Valerian tablets should be taken morning and night with food, with double the amount over Firework Night. The liquid Valerian compound can be taken with or without food, and can even be applied to bedding. Pets usually like the taste of this herb.

Amy Larman has been using the Organic Valerian Compound on her two Staffordshire Bull Terriers Tia and Tyler and says:

‘I have two Staffordshire Bull Terriers, one of which I re-homed and who can be very scared of loud noises especially storms and fireworks. I have been using Valerian on my dogs for the past 6 months and for the first time I can now relax on Firework Night as I know I have done everything I can to help them stay calm and get through it.’


Ear Muffs For Dogs – Canine Audio Sense

Ear muffs for dogs, at last. For too many years we have all been sitting at home with our poochs on fireworks night wishing we could be out with our four-legged friend enjoying the fireworks together. Finally the dream has come true. This ingenious invention from pilot, Michelle Macguire was designed initially to spare her dog the fear that he felt every time they went flying together.

Mrs Macguire, 48, of Wisconsin in the US, said: ‘I did a test flight of 15 minutes and by the time we arrived Cooper had taken them off.

‘But when we did the return flight, he kept them on – he must have realised it was a lot worse for him without them.

‘That was seven years ago when he was one. Ever since he’s never taken them off and flying doesn’t bother him at all.’

She said that hundreds of armed forces dogs based in Iraq and Afghanistan are also now using “Mutt Muffs” while on the front line and that they have solved the problem for dog-owners of how to deal with firework night disturbance.

This is an incredible idea, and Mrs Macguire now sells her “Mutt Muffs” on her website, where they are proving popular all over the world. As this adorable photograph shows.

Dogs are, of course, the most popular pet in the world. Now when you travel or work in loud environments it is no longer necessary to leave the dog behind. Also, as we said above, if you are in a military armed force and about to storm an enemy stronghold, but would like to take rover in with you, you can!

Now if you really want to impress I would like to see ear defenders for Gerbils. These desert based rodents also have acute hearing and it would nice to see mini versions of these. The African Elephant, however, will have to wait.