Featured Blog Post
Five Tips For A Petsafe Guy Fawkes
by Dr Megan Alderson on 2013-11-04 10:23:49
For our pets noise phobia is the most common phobia we see as vets (second comes the vet visits-just joking-not in my clinic!) and a phobia is a serious issue to contend with. The intermittent loud noise and lights in the sky are a terrifying and fear evoking event for many animals, especially dogs.
Signs of fear and anxiety include panting, pacing, drooling, escape attempts, attention seeking or refuge seeking. Some dogs have severe anxiety and panic attacks while trying to escape leading to significant injury.
Here are 5 tips for a petsafe Guy Fawkes:
1. KEEPING THEM INSIDE AND MAKING A SAFE ZONE
Make sure you get your pets inside well before night fall. If you know your pet is phobic or shows signs of distress then make a safe zone. A bed in the closet, bathroom, under the bed with and plug in DAP pheromone diffuser and plenty of blankets .
2. ENSURE YOUR PETS ARE IDENTIFIED
Always-this is one of the important reasons we do an annual clinical exam. We check your microchip is working properly and the information it is linked to is up-to-date. If they are not microchippped then a collar fitted properly (two fingers tight) with name and contact details is essential.
3. FEED THEM A HEARTY MEAL & PUT ON SOME SOUNDS
Loud music with a good steady beat will help to disguise the intermittent pops and bangs-remember to close the curtains before nightfall, feed them a hearty meal-overcooked brown rice and marmite (vitamin B12) helps them relax!
4. SHOULD YOU USE A SOMETHING TO CALM THEM DOWN?
Absolutely, natural products can work very well in mild cases, rescue remedy (1ml rescue remedy, add 8ml bottled water and 1ml brandy or vodka in a small spray bottle or dropper and rub 10 drops or one spray on inside of ear, nose or gums), Pet Calm, DAP pheromone diffusers and Thundershirts (anxiety wraps) all help to decrease stress and the need for more hard hitting drugs.
For severe cases we often prescribe sedatives and anti-anxiety medications-however these are not without adverse side effects and a thorough vet check is necessary before prescription. These are not over the counter medications and do require veterinary consultation and blood work prior to dispensing.
5. IF YOUR PET TRIES TO HIDE UNDER FURNITURE OR IN A CUPBOARD, SHOULD YOU TRY TO COAX IT OUT?
No, let them choose their own safe haven and make it as comfortable as possible-again-get the beats going so that the intermittent bangs and whizzes mix with the sound of the cd. Mutt Muffs or cotton wool in the ears may help, again using some herbal remedies and disguising the noise with a solid relentless back beat helps them to relax and go to sleep. If you can stay at home for the night-great-grabs some drink, popcorn and some good loud action movies and make a night of it. Reward calm behaviour from your pet with treats or play. Try not to be anxious yourself as you will only confirm their fears.
If you are going out to enjoy the evening or having a few friends around take your puppy or hang out at a distance with your kitten to help them to become desensitised to fireworks. Many pets are fine around fireworks as long as they are not too close. Use toys and food treats to tell them that there is nothing to worry about.
Have a safe and sane next few days and as a vet and animal lover, like the Fire Department, I am never unhappy when it pours with rain!
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