- Due to the longer duration of the firework season, it is not always practical or desirable to sedate animals repeatedly. This sheet offers practical advice and information on several natural, herbal alternatives available in tablets & drops to help reduce anxiety. Sedating your animal only masks the external signs of fear but reducing anxiety will help to calm the animal & increase his ability to cope with the situation. Read on for further information or call us on 01202 484466.
- Don’t punish your dog when he is scared, it only confirms to him that there is something to be afraid of and will make him worse. Try not to leave your dog alone in the house when fireworks are being used. Try to engage him in activities to focus on simple training or food activity toys. For serious, long-standing phobias give him attention if required but allow him to cope how he wants to, e.g. let him hide under a table where he feels safest. He will come out when he is ready and then you can praise him.
- Feed your dog a good stodgy meal, rich in carbohydrate (with well cooked rice or pasta) mid to late afternoon so he has a full stomach making your dog feel sleepy. If necessary don’t feed him at any other time during the day to ensure a good appetite. However if your dog is prone to diarrhoea when scared, please consult us and we will advise you regarding diet.
- Please make sure that the environment is safe and secure at all times. Even the most placid dog can behave unpredictably when frightened by noise, should he decide to bolt and escape he will be in a greater state of danger.
Don’t walk him off the lead. Ensure your dogs ID tag is on the collar and that (s)he has been microchipped. This satisfies the legal requirement but also increases the chances of being reunited in the event of separation.
- Before the fireworks begin ensure your dog has been well exercised and relieved. Provide a well curtained or blacked out room for him to hide in – even a good sized cardboard box will suffice, so he will not see the flashing lights and flares and turn up the volume on the TV or radio to drown out the firework noise. Provide plenty of familiar toys. Dont shut any internal doors as he may feel trapped.
- Calmex can be given with food 1 hour before the desired effect is required. Zylkene is a calming supplement which needs to be started 1 week before the firework season and can be continued until the New Year. Scullcap and Valerian Tabs are a herbal remedy which needs to be started 2 weeks in advance. Adaptil collars and Feliway sprays and diffusers are pheromones for stressful situations but again these must be started at least 2 weeks in advance. Pet remedy sprays and plug ins start to work straight away.
- If you think your pet requires sedatives, such as Xanax, for firework phobia, please make an appointment with your vet as these drugs can only be given under veterinary supervision and they need precise doses for the age & weight of the animal.
- At quiet times of the year you could try to de- sensitize your dog using a noise phobia CD such as “Sounds Scary” CD to help him cope more easily next firework time. These programmes take several weeks to complete so plan them in advance and playing CDs to puppies ensure that they come acclimatised to loud noise.
- For further advice call us on 01202 484466 (option 2)