Bonfire night signals the start of the main firework season with Christmas and New Year celebrations following on behind. Although great to watch, fireworks season is a very stressful and frightening time for many of our pets. Your pet’s distress, caused by the flashes and bangs, may present itself in various ways. Things like shivering, restlessness, chewing, vomiting and hiding are common.
There are some simple things that you can do to help your pet.
- Move the dog to a blackened room in the evening where there are toys. The darkened room helps reduce problems from lights flashing.
- Try to engage your dog in an active game and using some background music will help to distract him.
- Again, try to ignore fearful behaviour and do not reassure him as this will reinforce his fearful behaviour.
- Keep cats indoors.
- Make sure that horses are either put in their stables or make sure that fencing is secure around their field.
Fear of fireworks and loud noises can be addressed from an early age. Puppies should be exposed to loud noises when very young - 8-12 weeks is an ideal time as this is their socialisation period. Training, however, can be difficult to enforce in dogs that have already learnt to be scared of loud noises.
PRODUCTS TO HELP RELIEVE STRESS
There is another aid to help dogs in the form of a plug-in device, very similar to the plug-in air fresheners. When plugged in, the device warms up and gives off a dog appeasing pheromone (DAP). This is the same pheromone as that produced by a bitch after whelping which helps to reassure her puppies. The DAP has no sedative effect and cannot be detected by humans.
A similar diffuser – Feliway – is also available for cats. The DAP and Feliway diffusers can be purchased from your vet.
Click on the link to download more information on DAP leaflet and find out about the DAP collar leaflet.
Click on the link to download more information on Feliway leaflet
Click on the link to download a useful Fireworks leaflet .
Zylkene is a novel product proven to help manage stress in common situations in dogs and cats. It can also help your pet adapt to change. Zylkene is natural, palatable and easy to give with food, and only needs to be given once daily. You will need to ask your vet is Zylkene can help your vet manage firework stress, short or long term. It may also be used to aid behaviour therapy such as noise desensitisation.