The firework season is fast approaching and whilst, for most of us humans, this can be a fun and exciting time of the year, for many of our pets, it can be a very scary time indeed.
Dogs particularly can be very badly affected by the bangs and other noises that go along with fireworks.
These days also, fireworks are not confined to the 5th of November - there are displays in the weeks leading up to Bonfire Night and for several weeks after. Increasingly they are running all the way through until after New Year.
And it’s not just the pets that get stressed about all of this. Owners having to watch their pets
literally scared out of their wits is not something any owner wishes for.
For many of these animals, though, it doesn’t have to be like this. There are lots of practical things owners can do to make fireworks less scary and traumatic for pets. The trick is in advance planning. It’s too late once the fireworks have started!
So AlphaPet has decided to make October and November Fireworks Awareness Month to help owners prepare for fireworks to ensure that their pets are less stressed by them.
What owners need to do for their individual pet varies greatly. Some pets don’t seem to mind loud bangs - although we would still never advise owners to take dogs along to firework displays as we have frequently seen in the past!
These days, we try not to use drugs and instead prefer to concentrate on modifying behaviours by providing the correct environment. Such behavioural modification can be very effective but only if it is started well in advance of fireworks starting.
The single most important thing to concentrate on is creating a suitable refuge for your pet so they can escape the worst of the bangs. Pheromones and nutraceuticals are often very effective as alternatives to traditional drugs and work alongside behavioural treatments, but again, these need to be used correctly if they are to be effective.
For those pets with extreme firework phobias and which don’t respond fully to behavioural
modification, pheromones and nutraceuticals, we can still resort to more traditional drug therapies to reduce the levels of stress suffered. They are considered a last resort because they can have side effects such as drowsiness, but if it is that or spending several months scared witless, then sometimes the careful and strategic use of drugs may be the only option.
Our qualified veterinary nurses are always happy to advise on behavioural methods of treating firework phobias, but if your pet is extremely noise phobic, then we would recommend that you make an appointment to see one of our vets.
The earlier you can prepare for the firework season, the more likely it is that we can successfully relieve your pet’s stress (and yours as well!). Leaving it until the last minute, once the fireworks have started makes it very much harder, if not impossible, to alleviate the stress for them and usually ends up with us having to resort to more powerful (and expensive) drug therapies.
Throughout October and November, we are offering 20% off a range of calming products.