Love your pet… love your vet
The firework season may be fun for you and your family but it is estimated that around 60% of pets become stressed and fearful while fireworks are going off. Here are some top tips to ensure a stress free environment and help your pets cope with the loud bangs and bright lights.
Early evening walks for dogs are advisable before fireworks start and then it is important to make sure your pets are safely indoors. Close windows and doors and it’s a good idea to close curtains and blinds. Another top tip is to leave the television or radio on to mask the sound of the fireworks. For pets living outdoors make sure they are secure and covered over, or if possible move them to a shed for the night.
Give your dog a quiet place, a ‘den’, to hide away at any time when there are fireworks going off. If your dog does hide away leave him alone and do not try to coax him out. This bolthole or den is where he will feel most secure. You can help create this comforting space by using a plug in D.A.P® diffuser (dog appeasing pheromone) these can be purchased from vets or good pet shops and help to lower stress levels. These do need to be plugged in 48 hours prior.
If your cat hides away leave her alone and do not try to coax her out; this is where she will feel most secure. Plugging a Feliway diffuser in the room where your cat spends most of her time, 48 hours before the fireworks, will increase her sense of security and calm.
Your reaction to your pet’s fearful behaviour is important as reassurance encourages pets to continue displaying a particular behaviour. Stay calm and relaxed and where possible ignore your pet, particularly un-settled behaviour as this will confirm to them that this behaviour is actually good!
Seek advice from your vet if you are worried or have particular concerns.
For more information: http://www.secrettohappypets.com/fireworks/
Chris Devlin BVSc MRCVS is a Vet and Partner at Hillside Veterinary Centre in Corfe Mullen. w: www.hillsidevets.co.uk.
Love your pet...love your vet.