Preparing for bonfire night
With Bonfire night fast approaching, it unfortunately can be a frightening and confusing time for our pets. Was your pet scared of fireworks last year? If so now is the perfect time to get ready for firework season.
Up to 50% of pets may be affected by a fear of fireworks or loud noises.
Signs you pet has a fear of fireworks;
- Trembling & Shaking
- Clinging to owners
- Barking/Meowing excessively
- Cowering and hiding
- Trying to run away
- Soiling the house
- Pacing and Panting
- Refusing to eat
On the night here are our top tips:
- You can help your pet by preparing a ‘safe haven’ or ‘pets den’. If your pet already has a hiding place then this space should be used. Either should be made as snug and secure for your pet as possible by adding blankets and bedding. Plugging in an adaptil diffuser will often increase the security felt by your pet. Make sure the ‘den’ is accessible at all times throughout the day whether your home or not.
- Keep pets inside during fireworks displays and ensure windows and doors remain closed during firework season to prevent pets escaping and to reduce the noise level.
- Provide distractions in the form of new toys or chews for example. Draw curtains and put the tv/music on to try to mask any noise.
- Do not punish your pet! This will only make your pet more fearful.
- Do not comfort your anxious pet; this can make matters worse as in pet body language pets’ cuddle/huddle when they are frightened. So when owners are comforting or acting differently the pet may interpret this as you are scared too and so believe that they are right to be worried, therefore reinforcing the behaviour. Carry on acting in your normal manner ignoring the pets’ unwanted behaviour. Rules for your pet stay the same i.e. sleeping and eating arrangements etc.
Pheromone Support – Using Adaptil
Pheromones are natural chemical ‘signals’ which are secreted by animals to communicate different types of messages to themselves or others. One pheromone dog’s use is called the ‘dog appeasing pheromone’ that a mother produces to reassure her puppies. This pheromone has been proven to not only reassure pups but also adult dogs in challenging situations such as fireworks night. Plugging in an ADAPTIL diffuser or using an ADAPTIL collar early will help create a calm atmosphere in your home to help your dog with firework anxiety.
In Terms of medical treatments, sedatives tend not to stop pets from being aware of the noise, but rather stop them from being able to get away and hide, often making the phobia worse. The drugs now most commonly prescribed for loud noise phobia are used to reduce anxiety and to blur the memory of the event, without causing sedation. Your pet will need to be checked by a vet before it can be prescribed so its bet not to leave this to the last minute.
For specific advice regarding your own pet or to order any of the aforementioned treatments please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Written by Amy Slide at Cvets Moreton