How To Prepare Your Pet For Fireworks
- PLAN AHEAD – it’s never too early to start desensitising your pet to the sounds of fireworks. Ask Alexa, or check out the Dogs Trust download “Sounds scary”: www.dogstrust.org.uk/dog-advice/understanding-your-dog/sound-therapy-for-pets
- By gradually introducing them to the sounds at lower levels, over a period of time we can increase the volume while they are in a relaxed state, so they become less stressed. Lower the volume if they become anxious.
- One to two weeks before the event purchase an Adaptil plug in for dogs or a Feliway plug in for cats. The product will release a relaxing pheromone. It is less effective when used in rooms already occupied by another plug in or where lots of household sprays are used. An alternative would be the travel spray which you can spray daily onto the pets bedding, or for dogs they have an Adaptil collar. Call your local branch to check that we have one in stock or to order
- Get cats to start spending more time inside on an evening and get dogs used to having their evening walk earlier, shorter or no evening walk.
- 3-4 days before the event start your pet on Calmex tablets or Calmex liquid for cats. (we do have a capsule alternative for cats if they won’t take the liquid). This should be given daily until after the event, preferably 3-4 hours before the fireworks start. Please call your local branch to order.
- Download the PLASID app to get up to date advice on anxiety and stress in your pets. There is a QR code on the calmex box to access the information.
- Ensure the environment is safe, all doors and windows closed, and curtains drawn to reduce noise and flashing lights. Dogs and cats can be unpredictable if scared and may scrabble at doors and try to escape.
- Provide background noise from the TV or radio. If you can tolerate it rap music is very good or music with a lot of drum beats can help drown out the noise. The music doesn’t have to be over loud just with a distracting beat.
- Provide favourite, familiar toy, licky mats, stuffed kong toys and chews etc. to keep your pet occupied.
- Do not punish or shout at your pet when they are scared or barking. It will only confuse them more.
- Stay calm yourself, set a good example to your pet. Act relaxed and behave as normal, don’t over analyse your pet. Dogs and cats very quickly pick up on your anxiety or strange behaviour and don’t like to be watched!
- If your pet likes to hide away, let them. Do not go and sit with them or try to cuddle them.
- If your pet comes to you for cuddles then you can cuddle them but don’t verbally praise them until they start to relax.
- Stay at home – Do not go out and leave your pet alone if it is fearful.
- If you have friends with dogs that are not fearful, invite them round. Seeing a dog totally relaxed may help reassure your pet.
- Bring rabbit hutches indoors – this could be in the house, garage or shed. If you are unable to bring them indoors, lay a few thick blankets over their hutch to help muffle any noise. Leave a gap for ventilation. Give your rabbits extra bedding for them to burrow into.
- Make sure your pets are microchipped – spooked pets can run away so make sure that they are microchipped to make them easily identifiable if this happens.
- Close fitting body wrap – medical pet shirt gives some pets the feeling of being hugged so feel safe
- Tellington touch body wrap
- Pet Remedy – valerian product – contact your local branch to check for stock or to order.
For moderate cases we can add in a stronger prescription anti-anxiety medication either in the form of an oral gel or a tablet. This can only be given under veterinary supervision and your pet will require a health check with the vet and weighing before we can dispense this medication. For serious cases we may add in a prescription tranquilizer.
Medication should be given at least 1-2 hour before the pet is upset or panicking.
Please contact your local branch to discuss your pets’ requirements.