Unfortunately for our pets, the fireworks ‘season’ is an ever-growing time, no longer restricted to November 5th. Recent research has found that around half of dogs in the UK are fearful of loud noises but there is much you can do to help.
Dogs look to their owners for reassurance so your behaviour is key to reducing their stress. Excellent advice is given on the leaflets provided by the manufacturers of Zylkene capsules and the Adaptil (dog) and Feliway (cat) pheromone products available from the practice. You are welcome to take these leaflets even if you do not wish to buy the products (or see www.petfireworkfear.co.uk).
Many pets run away from home if scared by fireworks so microchipping is advisable to ensure that your pet can be easily identified and quickly returned to you if they are lost.
Several useful products are available from the practice and the staff will help you to decide which are most appropriate for your pet. These include:
- Adaptil and Feliway: available as plug-in diffusers, sprays and Adaptil comes in collars as well. They contain calming pheromones undetectable to humans. Ideally Adaptil or Feliway use should start 2 weeks before fireworks begin.
- Zylkene capsules: a safe, natural and palatable food additive given once daily available for dogs and cats. The effects should start to be seen within a couple of days.
The above products can be obtained at Reception, are safe for all animals and suitable for long-term use. They have been proven effective in managing fear and anxiety although not all animals will react in the same way.
Herbal and homeopathic remedies, such as valerian compound and ‘Anxiety’ drops are available from PetStop, our pet shop. There is no scientific evidence that these work although some owners report good results to the shop staff.
Pets that are extremely stressed by fireworks, particularly those that are elderly or have long-term health problems, are likely to require prescription medicines to control their anxiety. We advise that you book a consultation to discuss this with one of the veterinary team as your pet will require a health check before these can be prescribed.