Vets Suggest Silent Fireworks To Reduce Anxiety In Pets For Celebrations

Everyone likes fireworks, right? Well, many pet owners (and parents of young children) will tell you that the sudden, loud noises that accompany fireworks are no picnic when it comes to the anxiety that often goes hand-in-hand with the light show displays. In the United States, many holidays include a light show, but isn’t it about time we followed Europe to make the move towards quiet/silent fireworks displays?

Celebrations like Fourth of July often find pets escaping from their enclosures to make a run for it as the sudden loud noises cause the same kind of anxiety attacks that are triggered by thunderstorms and lightning, says the Inquisitr. Animal shelters see a huge uptick in pets dropped off because they are found wandering the streets after a storm or summer holiday celebration. It’s impossible to turn the volume down on thunder and lightning, but it is possible to do something about fireworks displays.

The concept of quiet fireworks is increasing in popularity across Europe, but in the United States, many people did not realize that such things are possible, says the New York Times. And not only are these silent fireworks gaining popularity in Europe, but some cities are now requiring them.


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Many towns in the United Kingdom are now saying quiet fireworks, or no fireworks. These quiet light shows, which have now been around for about 10 years, are not only a good thing for pets, but also noise sensitive children, veterans, livestock, and wildlife. Rino Sampieri, a senior display manager at Fantastic Fireworks, an English-based company, says that they started with quiet fireworks almost 30 years ago, but in the last decade, they have had more competition.

“We’ve seen more competitors in the last decade or so.”

Professor John Conkling of Washington College in Maryland says that there are a few downsides to silent fireworks from a visual point of view.

“From a strictly visual standpoint, there are pros and cons to a quiet fireworks show. Because they do not include big aerial explosions, quiet shows cannot entertain a large audience. As a result, traditionally big shows — like those on the Fourth of July — would need to be divided into smaller viewings.”

But Conkling explains that quiet fireworks can actually be more colorful.

“The colors in a firework are packed in pellets called ‘stars.’ When certain chemical compounds are heated, they emit signature colors to get rid of their excess energy. For instance, barium compounds emit green, red comes from strontium and blues are made with copper.”

The BBC said that for the first year, Edinburgh, Scotland, decided to go ahead with silent fireworks this year for New Years Eve. But silent fireworks doesn’t mean that musical accompaniment cannot be used. Each year, Edinburgh had received noise complaints, and so according to councillor Joanna Mowat, they decided to give quiet pyrotechnics a go, and then report on the event in the next month or so.

“I am delighted that my motion calling for a report into the impact of fireworks on the residents, pets and buildings and the city has been accepted and a report will be brought forward early next year.”

Going with the silent fireworks seemed to be a way to make everyone happy.

“This is an opportunity to look carefully at this issue and investigate whether new technology can reduce the noise but keep the spectacle which could make life a little quieter for residents of the city protecting the high level of amenity for residents of Edinburgh.”

As fireworks displays become more and more popular around the world for various holiday celebrations, finding a way for them to be enjoyable for everyone seems to be a good idea. In places like Orlando, Florida, where fireworks shows go on almost every night, silent fireworks could be a real game-changer.

Do you think silent fireworks should be the norm for all big cities?

[Featured Image by Peter MacDiamid/Getty Images]