Firework fears? How can you help your pets?
Helping Pets with Fireworks Fears! As the Autumn draws in the following seasons bring with them celebrations such as Halloween, bomb fire night, Diwali, Christmas and then New Year. These celebrations usually involve some kind of firework displays which can cause huge anxiety for our poor pets. There are many ways in which you can help your pets to cope during the firework seasons:
- Comfort your trembling furball!
Out of date behavior advice suggests that you shouldn’t comfort your pet when they are frightened so as not to ‘reinforce their fear’. We now know that this is incorrect advice. A fear cannot be reinforced by comforting an animal during times of anxiety. If your pet wants to cuddle up to you on the sofa then let them!
- Various neutracuticle medications are available from your vets.
Products such as Zylkene and Calmex come in tablet form and need to be given several weeks prior to the stressful event to get into the animals system as they load up over time.
Pheromone replicas are available in plug in forms or collars which the animal can wear all the time. The Pheromone gives the animal a sense of calm and helps them cope during times of stress. Feliway is for cats and Adaptil is for dogs. If you have both cats and dogs they also make a similar product which has a positive effect on both animals.
Rescue Remedy can be incredibly useful for pets. It is the most famous of the Bach remedies, but in fact is not ‘a remedy’ at all. Instead it’s a blend of five different Bach Flower Remedies: This mix was created by Dr Bach to deal with emergencies. Rescue Remedy helps both humans and pets relax, get focused and get the needed calmness to deal with a stressful event. Again it is recommended they are used daily for at least a couple of weeks before the fireworks start.
Pet remedy can naturally de-stress, pet calming and pet anxiety help, including cats, dogs rabbits, rodents, horses, and parrots. Pet Remedy works alongside the brain’s natural ‘messengers’ called neurotransmitters, which work by telling the nerve receiving the message either to calm (via GABA pathway) or get ‘fired up’. In times of stress or anxiety the nerves get over stimulated, which leads on to the many different signs of stress we see in our pets. The special Pet Remedy blend of essential oils is valerian based and works alongside these natural relaxation pathways to help calm the nerves of anxious or stressed pets.
- Enlist the help of a Pet sitter if you need to go out in the evenings to keep your pets company.
Contact us to find out more about these types of services.
- Royal Canin have now produced a food with added ingredients to aid with stress.
The milk whey protein has a calming effect when fed on a regular basis. You can purchase this on line or at your vets. Peter Lennox at the park veterinary practice in SW20 re
commends this saying he has had very good results with it in some of his patients.
- Thunder shirts are a wearable wrap much like a swaddle for a baby which help greatly with stress in dogs and cats.
They can be used for all types of anxiety, fear, and over excitement issues. Anytime calming may help, a ThunderShirt may help.
If your pet starts off being a bit worried about the fireworks but gradually worsens over time this escalating anxiety may need to be treated temporarily with a prescription only medication such as Xanax which is a benzodiazepine. Your vet may refer you to a specialist behaviourist vet for this. These type of drugs have an amnesiac effect so cannot be used during times of training as the dog will not remember new things taught. Speak to your vet if you think your pet has escalating levels of fear.
- What about after the scary period has passed?
You can help your terrified pooch to prepare for the next firework season by doing some desensitization training during the non firework seasons. Working on a specifically
designed programme using sound c.ds you can gradually build your pet up to being used to the scary bangs.
The dogs trust has these programs now available to download free of charge!
Helping Pets with Fireworks Fears, Why not enlist the help of a professional behaviourist or suitable trainer to work with you on this programme or similar. Contact us at the office for information about our dog training services.