Advice from March vets on your pets and fireworks
In her monthly Pet Subject column, Laura Dickens, of Amical Veterinary in High Street, March, looks at the effects of fireworks on our pets.
Autumn for many is a fantastic time of year but fireworks, outside celebrations and gatherings like garden parties can lead to stress and anxiety in many of our pets.
One of the most prevalent phobias in our pets is a fear of fireworks and loud noises.
Although every animal is different, signs of stress and fear can include: hiding, trying to escape, shaking or trembling, seeking their owner, pacing, panting, drooling, barking or
meowing, not eating, toileting inside.
Early socialization of these loud bangs, flashing lights, noises and smells is essential to try to help a young animal accept these sights and sounds as ‘normal’ and therefore, nothing to fear.
An older animal can be trained to accept these loud noises too but it can take time and a lot of positive
reinforcement – please speak to a veterinary professional if you have any questions about this.
There are lots of things that we can do to help, but some of these techniques can require some time to be effective.
When you are expecting fireworks on a certain day, it is best to keep cats inside all day and only let them out once the fireworks are over.
Take your dogs out for a nice long walk to help tire them out before the fireworks are due to start.
You can then close the curtains and put on some music or TV to drown the outside noise.
For both dogs and cats, make sure they have a place where they can hide and feel safe.
Staying calm yourself is very important as our pets are very good at sensing moods, feelings and stress which will add to any worry and anxiety they are feeling.
There are also a variety of calming products available that can help your pet feel more at ease.
These are natural or herbal products that help to promote the feeling of peace and calm.
There are also pheromone-based products that help to calm pets.
If you have any questions or if you need to discuss your pets’ worries at firework time, then please call your local veterinary practice for advice.