Once again the firework season is upon us and no doubt it will merge into Christmas; unfortunately, by the time we all start thinking about the stress that fireworks might have on our pets, it is already too late to use some of the most effective methods of calming them down. Techniques such as noise desensitisation CD’s or downloads or plug in pheromone diffusers.
There are a variety of anxiety relieving treatments to help with pets who really struggle through this period. Please discuss with a member of the practice team who will be able to help you find the most suitable product for your pet.
Some people use sedatives, but these have risks and cannot be used every night for weeks. For dogs with mild phobias we do occasionally use a newer milder sedative but we now mainly use anxiety relieving medications, of which there are a variety, but as a whole we are trying to get owners and their animals prepared in advance so that we can use more natural products and fewer drugs.
PRACTICAL THINGS YOU CAN DO –
- Provide a hiding place – under beds, collapsible crates with a towel/blanket covering it or cardboard boxes, under stairs cupboards.
- Use a Pheromone diffuser or calming tablets for dogs & liquid sprays for cats.
- Try to reduce the noise, close the curtains, shut doors & put on a TV/radio
- Take dogs out for long walks in the afternoon to try and settle them more easily.
- In the case of cats, provide a litter tray and lock cat flaps once in.
- Try not to pay the pet attention when upset as this can reinforce the idea that fireworks are something to be frightened of. Reward them when they are calm and behaving normally.
- Think about desensitisation in the future, noise phobias tend to get worse as they get older.