STRESS PROBLEMS can be alleviated in the same way as pets can be helped when afraid of fireworks. The advice to act rather than ignore and to comfort rather than punish is thesame. The only difference is that we can understand why an animal is afraid of fireworks, but may not as easily understand the many other factors that can cause them stress.
There are many things you can do to help your pet, but don't hesitate to see your vet if your animal shows any of these symptons
- they won't
stop without treatment:
- Becomes aggressive
- Loses it's appetite
- Has excessive nervous shaking
In addition to reminders to check for animals in unlit bonfires, do remember to increase security when answering your door etc. If a firework startles your normally calm pet, it may cause him or her to flee in panic - and so become at risk of traffic accidents or being disorientated and possibly lost.
There are many products which can help to de-stress animals. An already calm dog or cat will react better to sudden noises. Fireworks are with us long before and after the 5th November, so it makes sense to take action before the harm is done.
It can only help if you comfort your distressed pet. Ignoring will not make the behaviour go away.
Remember panic can cause a dog to slip his lead and to lose a collar, as can cats. Whilst these are both necessary, a really vital help to reuinity you with a poanicking pet is to be microchipped. Vets and rescue centres scan animals that are admitted. Your details can be traced and your pet can be returned to you (always providing you keep the company informed if you move or change phone numbers etc). This can also be a useful tool in ownership disputes too.
Sedatives do not remove the fear, just hteir menas of expressing it and so are not a solution to the problem. Your vet may pprescribe Diazepam - remember that this does not remove the fear, but it removes the memory of it. So your animal still needs companionship during the fright. Igf he wants to hide in a safe place, encourage this. Even a wendy house or under a table may be better than allowing him to harm himself thrashing around in panic.
A dog fed on a meal of protein and carbs (cooked chicken or white fish followed by white rice and mashed potato) will be able to produce sleepy, calming chemicals naturally.
In addition to CDs to get your pet used to noises, Feliway (for cats) or DAP (for dogs) can be plugged in to a socket near the pet's bed and emit soothing pheramones, inducing a sense of wellbeing. For dogs this can be attatched to the collar either.
Zylkene was the first product to be available to take (in capsule form) which brings about a calmer, more relaxed animal. It can be broken open as a powder to sprinkle on food. Bach Rescue Remedy may alos be beneficial (a few drops in a drinking water bowl may help and should not cause harm even if it doesn't).
Kalmaid is a pleasant tasting paste which takes away unnecessarily stressful behaviour and leaves you with a contended animal.
These need to be used BEFORE the stressy time happens. If you are moving or there are other events you expect to upset your pet, ask your vet which of these would be most suitable for your particular circumstances.
All the above products are available to buy, without prescription, online - but check with your vet if there are any reasons they will not be suitable for your particular animal. (Especially ones needing to take medication regularly, in case the new product affects how their usual treatments work.www.ceva.com
has a useful leaflet with suggestions for preparing for Bonfire night.
- not punishing your pet for being aftraid
- taking your dog earlier than usual to avoid some of the fireworks
- ensure not only doors & windows are closed but cat flaps too are secured.
- continue the calming product for a week after the event