Remember , Remember the 5th of November

BONFIRE NIGHT 2017 – KEEP YOUR PET SAFE

For many pet owners Bonfire night is a very stressful night, and these days with people letting fireworks off for the weeks surrounding that date,we are coming across more stressful pets.

Overall there are 3 things you need to do , 1- make changes in your home/environment . 2 – potentially use calming products and 3 desensitization(long term)

Make Changes In Your Home

This could include but not limit to ;

  • Playing the radio / TV at a low volume. By keeping the TV or radio at a constant may help distract your pet.
  • Avoid walking your pet at dusk /times when people are setting off fireworks
  • Play with your pet but do not comfort when fearful as this can portray to your pet its ok to be scared. Never punish your pet for being fearful as this can only make things worse.
  • Create a den/safe place for your pet to hide away; this should be dark and contain your pets favourite toys.
  • Close windows and curtains to muffle the sounds/flashes of the fireworks

Use Of Calming Products

Take advantage of calming products such as pet remedy, adaptil ,feliway etc. These can come in different forms such as a spray, collars, diffuser plug ins etc – these usually take up to 2 weeks to get in the system and if your pet is VERY fearful they don’t always work. But are an option and do work really well for some pets. They contain a calming pheromone which is a synthetic form of a chemical that is naturally secreted by the mammary glands of a lactating bitch. The scent is undetectable to humans , and helps to reduce anxiety. These products can be bought over the counter as don’t ‘Drug’/sedate your pet.

Other stronger medication can be bought from your vets but really these are a LAST resort. Personally, i don’t agree with using such drastic action. I feel by using these products you are just postponing the problem and just stopping your pet from reacting to the problem not getting rid of the fear. But that’s an article for another day.

Desensitizing

Now this bit takes the longest but in the end is better for both you and your pet. This technique is initiated by gradually introducing firework sounds and increasing the volume over a set time period.There are CD’s which can be purchased online to help with this process. Please note you must do this gradually as you don’t want to make your dog more fearful . For more information on this feel free to message me.

N.b Keep a collar and ID tag on your dog, just in case they do accidentally escape. Make sure your dog is micro chipped too, as if he or she does escape without a collar on this will ensure you are reunited as quickly as possible and is a legal requirement.

Cats ….

Don’t forget your cats maybe fearful too, keep them indoors so they aren’t spooked and also so they don’t get into any danger .

Make sure there are plenty of spaces to hide.

Ideally have your cat micro chipped too. it isn’t required by law but if they do get spooked and escape they can be reunited.

Small Furries…

If you can, bring them indoors. To prevent causing stress this should be done gradually.

If not try and cover cages/hutches up to give them cover.

Thanks for reading ,if anyone has any questions or have a topic you would like me to discuss feel free to message me.

Emma Seaton RVN BCCSDip.AdvCanBhv