Many pets suffer with serious fireworks phobias and fear of fireworks causes a great deal of distress for many animals.
There are measures that you can take to help alleviate these fears and sometimes even cure them completely. It is best to discuss any phobias that your pet might have with your vet as different animals will have different requirements, but below is a summary of what you can do to help reduce your pet's fears when there's a firework display near you.
- Keep pets indoors
- Keep cats and dogs in a room with the curtains drawn, toys available and try to engage them in active games to distract them. Try having the TV or radio turned up loud to hide the noise of the fireworks.
- Ignore fearful behavior and do not try to reassure you dog as this will 'reinforce' the fearful behavior and make your dog likely to repeat it.
- If your dog wants to hide behind the sofa or under the bed, let them. Even better - make them a safe den where they can hide and feel contained.
- Consider the use of a thunder-shirt in dogs, these can be comforting.
- Consider using pheromone products such as Adaptil for dogs or Feliway for cats to reduce anxiety. Also ask your vet about Zylkene which may help to calm your pet
- Consider feeding the Royal Canin 'Calm' diet which can reduce anxiety in cats and dogs
- Ask your vet about the 'sounds scary' CD which is a very effective method of desensitising your pet against the noise of fireworks. This is a long term solution and will take time to make work, however it is the best way to train your pet out of fireworks and other noise phobias.
- Cover up the cages of small furry animals and consider bringing them into the house where it is quieter
All of the products mentioned can be purchased from your usual Nine Mile practice and our vets and nurses will be happy to speak to you about fireworks phobias if you have any queries.
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