Fireworks & your pets.
As enjoyable as fireworks are to us they can be terrifying for animals both big and small. Firework phobia (mainly fear of the loud noises) can present itself in many forms of anxious and stressful behaviour.
These can include:
- Excessive vocalisation
- Urinating/defaecating inside
- Unsettled behaviour (e.g. hiding, trying to escape, panting, shaking)
- Destructive behaviour (e.g. self-harm and/or to the household)
There are a number of cost-free options that you can do to help alleviate unnecessary anxiety.
- Keep cats and dogs in a secure environment – inside, away from windows and make available a spot for them to hide in if necessary (e.g. in a crate, under a bed etc). For your smaller furry friends it is a good idea to move hutches inside, into the garage or to cover them up with a blanket heavy enough to block out the flashes of light.
- Close all curtains and turn on the TV/radio loud enough to distract from the noises of the fireworks.
- Try to ignore any signs of anxious behaviour as this will only encourage further unwanted behaviour.
- Exercise dogs in daylight hours.
- Have identification on all animals at all times in the event that they do escape (e.g. microchip and/or collar with current phone numbers and details).
If these options are not enough to settle nerves there are a number of remedies specifically designed for anxiety in cats and dogs. In extreme cases sedative medication can be prescribed but the pet must be seen by a veterinarian first.
Feliway (cats only)
Feliway is a synthetic version of a natural feline’s facial pheromones. The purpose of these pheromones is to convey a sense of security and calm. This product comes in two forms – a spray and a plug-in diffuser. We would recommend using the diffuser for this particular issue and to start using it at least a week prior to sale of fireworks.
For more information see www.feliway.com/us/
D.A.P. (Dog appeasing pheromone)
D.A.P. is a synthetic version of the natural canine appeasing pheromone. It is safe, odourless and does not cause sedation. We would recommend using the diffuser in the instance of firework anxiety.
For more information see www.dapdiffuser.com
Calmex (Dogs only)
Calmex is a calming supplement in the form of a capsule given 30-60 minutes before needed (the dosage will vary according to the weight of your dog). It is a natural blend of two amino acids, a psychoactive plant extract and B-vitamins, all of these combined produces a mild sedation and anti-anxiety effect.