Fireworks advice

fireworksSome advice from our head veterinary nurse Sarah, on supporting your pet during fireworks.

Helpful changes to the environment

  • Try to keep your pets inside during the evening
  • Walk dogs at daytime/during light hours
  • Close the curtains/blinds to reduce visual stimulation
  • Background noise such as a television, fan or low music can help block out other sounds. Music therapy can help calm pets. Classical music is proven to sooth and calm patients during their stay in the hospital.
  • Build a den! Allow them a safe place to hide. It can be behind the sofa, a blanket over two chairs or under the bed. Just somewhere nice for them to hide away.
cat-in-den
  • Ignore any fearful behaviour as much as possible and do not try to comfort your pet too much. Your animal will pick up on your anxiety and this may make the problem worse. Fussing a pet that appears frightened can reward and encourage this behaviour, be relaxed and leave them alone if they choose to hide away.
  • Place all of their favorite things, food and water bowls, toys and litter tray etc in close reach to their den or area they have chosen as their safe spot.

Signs of stress

Dogs

  • 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
  • Salivating
  • Vomiting
  • Growling or biting

Cats

  • Cowering and hiding behind or on top of furniture
  • Trying to run away
  • Soiling the house
  • Salivating
  • Vomiting
  • Refusing to eat
  • Biting or scratching

Helpful calming products

There are a number of products that can help reduce your pets anxiety during this stressful time. Pheramone therapy- plug in diffusers or sprays can be used in your pet’s environment to help reassure them during this stressful time.

For cats – Feliway

The special scent (odourless to people and other animals) that Feliway utilizes is a replication of the pheromone that cats leave naturally when they are feeling comfortable in their environment.

feliway-for-catsEvery time a cat rubs its nose against objects in the home, it leaves behind this pheromone to mark its territory.

Even small changes in your home can upset your cat and prevent them from leaving this pheromone, which in turn makes them feel less secure, and increases their stress.

Using Feliway will help maintain the scent that gives your cat the feeling of peace and calm and reduce the stress that your cat experiences.

For dogs – Adaptil

Adaptil is a synthetic copy of the natural comforting pheromone released by a mother dog to reassure her puppies.

adaptil-for-dogsAdaptil has been scientifically proven to not only help puppies but also support dogs of all ages with changes to the environment or stressful situations such as fireworks.

By plugging Feliway or Adaptil in your pet’s home, you can help reassure them and reduce stress levels during fireworks season.

Calmex

Calmex is a Capsule/liquid form product that utilises a combination of two amino acids, a plant extract and numerous B vitamins to help calm anxious or stressed cats and dogs.

calmex-fireworks-therapy

This fast acting mix of ingredients produces a synergistic effect that modulates neurone transmission within the brain. As a result, Calmex reduces anxiety, causes mild sedation and gives that much needed relief to your pet.

This highly useful treatment is great for dogs or cats who suffer from noise phobia, separation anxiety and situational phobias such as fire works. Best used in conjunction with behavioural programmes, but can also be used on its own.

zylkene-fireworks-therapy

Zylkene

Zylkène contains a natural product, derived from casein, a protein in milk.

Zylkène is a product that can help support dogs and cats in situations where they find they need to adapt the their behaviour to cope. These include kennel and cattery stays, house moves and fireworks.

Zylkène is palatable and easy to give; simply mix with food or give as a treat. Give just once a day.ir behaviour to cope. These include kennel and cattery stays, house moves and fireworks.

Zylkène is preservative and lactose free.

Take home tips

There are a number of things you can do to help support your pets for the future fireworks seasons.

We recommend introducing all new puppies and kittens to all kinds of noises and situations when they are young. This ensures they are well socialized with all noises that could be scary in the future, which helps reduce the risk of developing a noise phobia later on in life.

Praise good behaviour- feed them during fireworks when they are young and play games with their favorite toys. This helps them associate the sounds of fireworks with something nice instead of something scary.

If you know your pet has a phobia of fireworks, you could begin a fireworks desensitization programme at the beginning of the year. For more information you can contact Julie at our Teddington branch (020 8977 3955), who has lots of experience and can give plenty of dog behavioural advice.

When fireworks season is on its way, be prepared. Start using the calming pheromones, calming supplements and adapt the environment to support your pet before the night of the fireworks.

Those pets suffering with severe anxiety problems during fireworks may need additional or stronger products. Please contact us for more information on 020 8977 3955/01932 229 900 or book a consultation with one of our lovely vets so we can prescribe something more suitable.

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Sarah Holliday

Head Vet Nurse at Vet4life - Teddington
Sarah has 7 years’ experience in nursing in a variety of environments. She has certificates in feline and canine behaviour and is currently studying for a certificate in nursing exotic animals.
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