As we approach the firework season, both November 5th and new year, here is some advice to caring for your pets.
HOW TO SPOT SIGNS OF STRESS IN YOUR PET
Although most of us enjoy fireworks, it can be a frightening time for our pets. With bonfire night approaching, it is important to prepare early to try and reduce the stressful effects of fireworks.You know your pet better than anybody and will often notice changes in behaviour in traumatic situations, such as Bonfire Night. During the firework season many pets become stressed and fearful. Symptoms to look out for include:
• Trembling and shaking
• Clinging to owners
• Barking excessively
• Cowering and hiding behind furniture
• Trying to run away
• Soiling the house
• Pacing and panting
• Refusing to eat
TEN TOP TIPS TO PREPARE YOUR PET FOR BONFIRE NIGHT!
1. Allow your dog or cat to retreat to its favourite hideaway. This bolthole is where they feel safe. You can further increase this feeling of security and wellbeing by plugging in an Adaptil® or Feliway® Diffuser (ask us for details)
2. On the evenings you expect fireworks, ensure your pet is safely inside and secure doors, windows and cat flaps
3. Make sure your dog or cat is microchipped. If they do escape, frightened, confused animals can easily get lost
4. In the run up to the firework season, ensure dogs are used to being taken for walks early in the evening and cats are provided with litter trays both before and during the firework season
5. Draw curtains to reduce the noise from outside and play music or have the TV on to help mask the noise of fireworks
6. Ignore any fearful behaviour and do not try to comfort your pet. A dog may pick up on your anxiety and this can make the problem worse. Cats prefer to be left to cope on their own
7. Do not punish your pet. This only confirms that there is something to be afraid of
8. Try not to go out while the fireworks are going off. Seeing you acting normally will help your pets feel more settled
9. Speak to your vet – see what we can do to help below.
10. After the firework season is over you should contact your vet to ask about treatment for your dog’s fear of fireworks. Adaptil (D.A.P.)® and the Sounds Scary® CD therapy pack 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 behavioural therapist.
THINGS YOUR VET CAN DO TO HELP.
The surgery can help in several ways,
– You can use calming pheromones for cats and dogs, these can be plug in diffusers (like air fresheners), impregnated collars, or sprays. These products need to be started several weeks before they are needed, so talk to us now.
– There are calming medicines, some can be provided without having to see your pet.
– There are also stronger sedative medicines, they are very effective but we need to see your pet and discuss their use with you.
– There is also a calming diet which can be fed instead of your pet’s normal food during the stressful period.
As you can see, there are several steps you can take to help your pets over this stressful time, but it is important to plan ahead so please contact us now to discuss any of the above.