With autumn upon us it’s time we turn our attention to the season that is often dreaded by owners of anxious pets.
Fireworks are a vibrant and beautiful spectacle against the night sky, however the loud bangs and vibrations in the air can be a cause of concern for our animals.
Owners of anxious pets may find that their pets begin to demonstrate behaviors such as:
- Destructive behaviours
- Excessive barking
- Going to the toilet indoors
- Refusing to eat
All of these behaviours can be extremely traumatic to both you and your pet, however there are many things you can do to help.
This is a long term form of help which is essentially giving your pet a regular interaction with what they are afraid of, to help them become accustomed. There are tons of firework videos on youTube and even a playlist on Spotify of soundswhich you can play at regular intervals in the lead up to bonfire night.
Not in the woods but in a quiet space in your home. The creation of a den is a great way to give your pet a quiet hiding place where they feel they are safe from the fireworks. This often means making sure it is also dark, in an area of the house you don’t pass often and full of their favourite things. Under the bed works well for dogs or their crate with a crate cover on, whereas cats prefer a high hiding place so popping their tent bed on your bed can help them feel more secure. Adding some of the clothes you have worn will provide them with your comforting scent. You can add to this by using a pet friendly pheromone such as Adaptil for dogs or Feliway for cats, these scents are of the nursing mum and aid in keeping your pet relaxed.
Calming music and covering noise
Finding noises in your home to help cover the sound of fireworks is a great way to distract an anxious pet so get ready for the TV, radio, dishwasher, washing machine and anything else you own that makes a noise to be on. A study has shown that cats find classical music to be the most relaxing and dogs enjoy the chilled out pace of reggae. So turn up Bob Marley or Beethoven and prepare a very chilled atmosphere for the night.
Act completely normal
As much as we may want to comfort our worried pets and shower them with attention in times of stress, we can actually reinforce their behaviour. Therefore it’s important to act as though nothing abnormal is happening at all.
We know that for some pets all of these changes may not be enough and we are so pleased to say that there are now a wide range of anti-anxiety medication available for our pets. We can assess your pet and advise you on the options to best suit you, which your vet or veterinary nurse will be able to discuss with you, to help you through this stressful time.