It is coming around to that time of year again when the firework celebrations will be starting!
It begins with Diwali in mid-October, Bonfire Night in November and then Christmas and New Year in December. It is fast approaching and we want to make sure that you and your pet are prepared for the fireworks season.
Preparation should begin well before, in order to desensitise your pet to the loud noises and bright flashes. You can use a CD (available to rent from us) which has pre-recorded firework noises. Playing this routinely in your home will help your pet become less sensitive to the noises.
In the weeks before hand, pheromone therapy can be introduced. This comes in the form of plug-ins, collars and sprays.
Adaptil® is the product used for dogs, which contains a synthetic copy of DAP (Dog Appeasing Pheromone)
Feliway® is the product used for cats, which contains a synthetic copy of the feline facial pheromone.
There is also a natural herbal alternative called Pet Remedy®, which contains mainly Valerian, amongst other herbs.
Zylkene is another natural product which comes in the form of capsules. It is a supplement derived from milk proteins, well known to promote relaxation.
All of these products need to be introduced at least a week before ideally, but may not be enough if your pet already has a significant fear of fireworks. They should be continually used throughout the firework season.
On the day you suspect fireworks will be going off, make sure to walk your dog before they start and make sure cats are shut in the house by the time they start. At night, there are various ways you can keep your pet from feeling distressed. The most important thing is to keep to the normal routine. Your pet will pick up on how you are feeling, and if you are worrying then your pet will feel like they should be worrying too. So act as normal and do not change your behaviour.
It is ideal if your pet can have a ‘safe’ place. Create a little den/bed that they can retreat to if they feel scared. It should be somewhere that they can hide away and be kept away from the noises and flashes. For dogs, a dog crate covered with a blanket is ideal. For cats it may be a chair or cat carrier covered with a blanket. Place their favourite toys and blanket in there to encourage them into the den. You can also put some food in there to try and tempt them in! This is also when the pheromone and natural remedy sprays are useful – they can be sprayed in the den to help calm your pet’s nerves. To reduce the amount of noise they hear from the fireworks, keep the television or radio turned on and quite loud to cover the outside noises. Keep the curtains closed to disguise the bright flashes from the fireworks outside.
If you would like to know more about any of these products or if you would like some advice, please give us a call at the surgery on 01926 496422.