Vet's Advice: September 2018
Fireworks and your pet
AS the nights draw in, it’s time to start thinking about fireworks!
Bonfire night and New Years are the traditional times for extravagant displays, but it has also become popular for smaller parties to occur year round.
Whilst this is an exciting time for most of us, it can be less enjoyable for our animal friends.
The loud noises associated with the fireworks can give rise to fear and even phobias. Your pet might shake, pant, salivate, urinate/defecate inappropriately, hide or cling to you or try to escape for example.
If your pet is sensitive to loud noises then it is usually best to engage in long-term treatment strategies that will aim to desensitise them to their fear. This can take several months to reach positive effect and so there are some short-term solutions that can help your pet to cope better, when the firework season is looming, until appropriate behavioural advice can be sought. These include things such as pheremonal therapies, supplements or swaddling pet shirts to help reduce anxiety (these are usually available over the counter at your veterinary surgery).
You can also help by reducing exposure to the noises and providing distractions:
Walk dogs before dark
Keep cats & rabbits/guinea pigs/ferrets inside after dark
Close all curtains
Provide chews/toys & play with your pet
Ignore noises and act relaxed to avoid reinforcing the fear
Allow your pet a safe place/den
Keep the television/radio on at a louder volume
Remember not to punish your fearful pet as this could make the situation worse.
Most importantly, don’t leave it too late! Come and talk to the team at Emerson’s Green Vets4Pets about how we might be able to help you and your pet during firework season.