Help Your Pet Cope With Firework Night

Dave Cumber Vets in Weymouth has kindly shared information on how to protect your pets from the stress of fireworks.


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Remember, remember the 5th of November…..  Unfortunately many pet owners remember this date because of the upset and distress it causes their pets.   Fortunately there are some things you can do to protect your pet during this stressful time.

 

Cats and Dogs

  1. Always keep your pet inside when fireworks are being let off.
  2. Close all windows, doors, cat flaps and draw the curtains
  3. If your pet is used to the sound of the TV or radio then switch it on quietly in order to block out some of the noise
  4. Make sure your pet has some sort of ID in case it escapes when frightened.  It is even better if your pet is micro-chipped
  5. Prepare a den for your pet so it has somewhere to hide and feel safe.  You could put an item of your clothing in the den so there is a familiar smell
  6. Try not to leave your pet at home alone
  7. Do not fuss your pet when it is scared as this reinforces the unwanted behaviour
  8. If your pet paces around, cries or tries to hide in a corner then do not disturb it as it is trying to find somewhere it feels secure
  9. If you do leave your pet and come back to find it has been destructive then do not get angry or shout at it

 

Dave Cumber of Dave Cumber Vets said “Firework Night is nearly here and the celebrations will probably carry on for several days, therefore we need to take extra special care of our pets.   As we say each year, early preparation is the key especially if you would like to desensitise your pet.  Our staff at both the Dorchester and Weymouth surgeries will be happy to help anyone who has any worries.”

Some of the products available at Dave Cumber Vets include :

 

ADAPTIL DIFFUSER FOR DOGS 

Adaptil contains “DAP” which stands for “Dog Appeasing Pheromone.” It puts into the air a hormone smell that has a calming effect on the dogs exposed to it.

The diffuser simply plugs into an electric plug socket and will continuously work for 4-6 weeks.

The pheromone released is undetectable to humans and has been proven to dramatically calm nervous and upset dogs. Clinical trials have shown that there was an 80% improvement in clinical signs (i.e: shaking, panting etc).

It is advisable for best results to start using the Adaptil diffuser at least ONE month before the event although in some cases TWO weeks is sufficient.

 

FELIWAY DIFFUSER FOR CATS

Feliway works for cats in the same way that the Adaptil diffuser works for dogs by releasing calming pheromones into the environment.

Feliway is used to restore a cats natural balance by recreating the same pheromone used when a cat rubs its face on objects.

It is important to start using the feliway plug in at least ONE month before the event to gain maximum benefit although in some cases TWO weeks is sufficient.

 

ZYLKENE CAPSULES FOR DOGS AND CATS

Given once a day from the day before an expected stressful situation.  They are a natural product which just helps your pet deal calmly with a potentially stressful situation such as Firework Night.  The capsules can be split and put in food or swallowed whole. They can be given for a short time or continuously if required.  No side effects have been associated with their use.

 

SCULLCAP AND VALERIAN TABLETS FOR DOGS AND CATS

A licensed herbal medicine for symptomatic relief of nervousness and anxiety. It is used to calm and relax animals suffering from phobias and apprehension. It is particularly useful for treatment of noise phobias caused by fireworks.

One of its benefits is that it will not cause drowsiness or impair your pets normal behaviour.

The tablets are available in pots of 100 or 500 and should ideally be started TWO weeks before on a maintenance dose. If it is too close to the event a higher dose can be used. Valerian Compound liquid can be given for those especially scary moments as it starts to work within 30 minutes.

 

SOUNDS SCARY DESENSITISATION CD

This CD will take time so ideally you should start using it TWO or THREE months before firework season begins.

The CD comes with full instructions that enables you to play the sounds of fireworks to your dog over a period of time, gradually increasing the noise levels.

You will need to be there to reward your dog when it demonstrates calm behaviour, thus enforcing that when they hear real fireworks they will come to no harm.

Over several weeks your dog will become accustomed to the noises and so when the real thing happens they will not panic. The CD is produced by qualified behaviourists who have developed it over a number of years.

 

Small animals (rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, mice, birds etc)
1. Hutches, cages and enclosures should be brought indoors where possible.  This can be the house, the garage or a shed
2. Give your pet extra bedding so it can burrow if frightened
3. If you cannot bring the hutch inside then turn it around so it faces a wall or fence.  It is very important to ensure that there is still adequate ventilation for the animal to breathe!

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Always remember that although fireworks may be fun for you, they are not fun for your pet!

Full details can be found at the Dave Cumber website or on their Facebook page.