Remember, Remember........The Do's and Dont's of Fireworks with Pets
Unfortunately firework season doesnt just mean one of two nights of displays, the increase in firework sales has led to more and more people having them and generally the 'bonfire' period starts about now. So to keep your house happy heres some more information on what to do.
There's a new product on the market that I shall shall be trying in my house this year which is Pet Remedy Plug in Diffuser. This contains a special blend of valerian and other calming essential oils into the surrounding area, with a number of positive reviews this product has been proven to help settle all mammals, especially dogs, cats, birds and horses. Plug in near the safe den or stable, hang the travel diffuser card in your pets hutch and car or put a few drops directly onto the bed, with refills available this is sure to be valued product.
What to do on the night
Make sure that you dont forget about your outside animals. Bring in or cover up hutches, close stables, lock cat flaps and take your dogs out for the evening walk before dark.
It is advisable to give dogs their normal evening meal before dusk, some people may give some additional starchy carbs such as pasta.
DO Stay calm and DON'T change your behavior.
Most people feel obligated to reassure their dogs when it is exhibiting signs of fear or anxiety. Most people will cuddle their dog or fuss over them and instead of making your dog feel better this type of attention is actually showing reward for the fearful behavior and as a result it reinforces their fear reaction and will infact make the problem worse next time.
DO try to remain neutral during the fireworks and DON'T act differently.
If you anticipate of your dog’s reaction to fireworks in a negative way your dog will pick up on your mood and emotions. If you appear tense when you hear and see fireworks because you are worrying about your dogs’ reaction, you may make their fear worse. Be aware of your body language, your dog needs to know that there is no reason to be afraid.
DO put on some music or turn up the volume on the television set.
This can help to drown out the sound of the fireworks. Close the windows and doors to help muffle the sound.
DON'T disturb your pets if they are hiding
If your pet attempts to hide or find a safe place under a bed or in a cupboard don’t be tempted to interrupt their instinctual need to find a safe place. Do not try to remove them from their safe place or force them out in an effort to show them that there is nothing to worry about. A frightened dog is only one step away from fear aggression so don’t push them past their comfort zone or you may get bitten or scratched out of sheer panic.
The Signs of Stress
It is important that you can recognise the signs of stress and so you can ignore them:
Dogs panting, salivation, sweaty paws, whining & barking for no apparent reason, lip licking, yawning, sneezing, shaking & shivering or trembling, hyperactive or restless, hiding, glazed eyes, seemingly naughty & unable to concentrate on commands, be defensive or distructive, tail chasing or rolling over in a bid to displace anxiety, loss of appetite, growling, aggression or diarrhoea.
Cats scratching or destructiveness, urine spraying, aggression, anorexia or over-eating, over-grooming, house soiling, hiding & appearing withdrawn, decreased levels of activity.
Birds Depression, moodiness or irritablilty, feather plucking, increased pecking or elimination, ruffled feathers, abnormal vocalisation
Rabbits eyes enlarged & show whites, tense body with tail up, ears laid back tightly, growling or squeaking, lack of vitality or interest, rapid breathing, biting or flinching.
Horses whinnying, swaying, crib biting, pacing, sweating, anorexia, head bobbing
Article written by Bryony - The Pet Nurse
Member since: 10th July 2012
Lived in St Neots since 1975 and boy how its changed, always looking to promote everything great in and around our town.