Have You Thought About Your Pets This Firework Season?
- Ensure you do not have a bonfire at home or let off fireworks near any pets
- Do not leave your pet alone when fireworks are likely to be going off.
- Do not punish your pet, as this will only add to the anxiety and stressful situation.
- Do not physically restrain your pet
- Do ignore fearful behaviour. Do not comfort or fuss your pet as this could encourage and reward the behaviour making the problem worse.
- Try not to alter your behaviour, act normally and ignore the noises yourself. If you jump up when a firework goes off this will frighten and worry your pet even more. Try and remain upbeat and jolly.
- Provide a den or hiding place where your pet can feel safe, away from any doors or windows. This could be under a bed/table, in a cupboard or behind a sofa.
- Make the den comfortable and allow your pet access to the den before the event.
- If your pet is frightened and prefers a different hiding place, they should not be forced out.
- Close the curtains and turn on the TV or radio to mask the noise of the fireworks.
- Provide distraction from the fireworks such as new toys, chews and games.
Signs of Stress in our pets;
- Trembling and shaking
- Clinging to owners
- Excessive barking
- Cowering and hiding behind furniture
- Trying to run away
- Soiling the house
- Pacing and panting
- Refusing to eat
- Cowering and hiding behind or on top of furniture
- Trying to run away
- Soiling the house
- Refusing to eat
- Stamping their feet
- Staying motionless
- Trying to escape
- Walk your pet when it is still light outside as this reduces the possibility of fireworks being set off.
- If you know of a dog that is not scared of fireworks and it gets along with your own dog then possibly keeping them together during the event might help.
- Remember to be safe and be seen (items below sold at our Chorlton Practice).
- Provide extra litter trays for your cat while confined
- Provide extra elevated hiding places for your cat
- Make sure all windows, doors and cat flaps are closed to reduce the chances of escape and injury.
- Ideally bring small animals indoors or into an outhouse or garden shed.
- If outdoors cover cages, pens and aviaries with a blanket to mask the sound and sight
- Make sure the hutch is not facing an open garden. Possibly turn the hutch round or cover it with a blanket.
- Give your pet hiding places and secure areas
- Give your pet plenty of bedding to burrow in and to help reduce the noise.
- Ensure your pet is microchipped so that if they do escape there is an increased chance of you being reunited. They may become confused due to anxiety and forget their way home.
- Also make sure your contact details on the microchip data base are up to date.
Once the firework season has passed it is time to think about long-term control of the problem. Fear of fireworks tends to get worse over time and can expand to include fear of other loud noises, such as thunder. Sound desensitisation has shown to be a very effective way of managing the problem and involves exposing your pet to firework noises on a cd in a controlled and gradual way. This must not be done during the firework season. Ideally Spring is the best time. Ask a member of staff for details.
ADAPTIL-Is a synthetic copy of the canine appeasing pheromone which is naturally released by lactating bitches to comfort and reassure their offspring. This product comes in a plug-in, collar and spray form.
Adaptil Express Tablets-These tablets work in a similar way to Kalm Aid as they contain L-Tryptophan and Theanine. In addition, the tablets contain GABA and B Vitamins. GABA is a neurotramsmitter which plays a central role in relaxation and limits the nerve activity in areas of the brain associated with anxiety. B Vitamins are essential nutrients for normal brain functioning. They help the body cope with the effects of stress. These are for use in dogs only and can be used in combination with the Adaptil pheromone products.
FELIWAY- Is a synthetic copy of the ‘F3 feline facial pheromone’. Feline facial pheromones are naturally released from cats as they rub their faces on furniture, walls and objects thus leaving behind the pheromone which creates a feeling of familiarisation and security. This product comes in a plug-in and spray form.
Kalm Aid - Is a natural food supplement which is designed to help anxious pets. It contains the amino acid L-Tryptophan which increases serotonin levels therefore having a calming and relaxing effect. It also contains L-Theanine, another amino acid which has a calming effect by increasing dopamine release. The supplement comes in a liquid and tablet form.
Zylkene -Is a natural product which contains casein hydrolysate, derived from milk protein casein. Zylkene works on the same receptors as Diazepam but does not cause sedation or inhibition of aggression. Zylkene is palatable, lactose free and easy to administer. It can be used for long or short term use. One capsule needs to be given by mouth daily either whole or split and mixed with food.
YuCALM Dog- This product supports the natural calming pathways in the brain. Lemon Balm works on GABA levels to make your dog feel more relaxed, soothing stress and encouraging calm behaviour. L-Theanine offers natural calming properties with GABA, serotonin and dopamine release with B vitamins supporting the nerves and brain function.
YuCALM Cat- This product supports the natural calming pathways in the brain. Lemon balm helps your cat feel more relaxed. L-Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that is metabolised into serotonin in the brain. L-Theanine supports the production of serotonin, B vitamins support healthy brain function while natural fish protein hydrolysate supports your cat’s brain.
There are a range of therapeutic products available to help you and your pet during this firework season. Some products need to be implemented prior to the event. For more information and advice please book in for a FREE one-to-one nurse clinic. The nursing team are available weekdays. Please call our Chorlton practice on 0161 881 6868 or our Sale practice on 0161 962 8236 to book an appointment.
Other prescription products are available from the veterinary surgeon.