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Fireworks and Your Pets

  Oct 19, 2018

Fireworks and Your Pets

It’s that time of the year again where Diwali and Guy Fawkes are coming up, which means fireworks.  While fireworks can be stunning to watch, lighting up the sky in all their beautiful colours, they are potentially dangerous to our furry pets.  The loud noises are terrifying; causing pets to “fight or flight” and, in so doing, harm themselves.  Remember, dogs and cats can hear noises up to five times louder than we can!  Please keep your pets safe during these evenings, somewhere where they can’t run out. Inside is often best.  Some pets may require some anti-anxiety medication or mild sedation to weather the storm.

How can I keep my pets calm?

Having them inside with you will provide your pets with comfort.  It often helps if you have the television on or music playing, anything they are used to and which is considered routine.  Closing the doors and windows of your home will help to dull the noises of the loud fireworks and keep them calm.  Some pets associate the bright lights of the fireworks with noise so, even if the firework is silent, they panic when they see the bright light. In this case, closing the blinds and curtains will help your pet.  Providing them with a safe place to hide may also help.

If you are planning on going out for the evening, it is advisable to leave your pet inside, preferably with someone at home to watch them.  If you own a cat, please ensure you have a litter box placed inside, especially if they are used to being able to go outside.

Try not to make a fuss over your pet during the loud noises. This can be perceived as a form of a reward for your pet: the anxiety your pet is showing is being rewarded by you giving your pet lots of love, or hugging him/her.  It’s best to act as if the loud noises are not there and carry on with your own routine.  Distraction is the key. Sometimes providing them with their favourite toy may help to keep them calm.

Can I give my pet any medication to keep him/her calm?

There are a variety of calming medications available. Some need to be prescribed by your veterinarian and some are available over the counter.  Some over the counter medications available are Calmeze, which comes in a liquid or tablet form, and Anxitane tablets.  These are natural remedies used to calm cats and dogs.  They work most effectively when given 2-3 days before the stressful event. Some pets require something stronger and need a mild sedative. In this case it’s best to go for a visit to your veterinarian who will be able to advise you on the best medication for your pet. 

Ensure your pet is micro-chipped

Despite our best efforts, pets still go missing. It is, for this reason, important that they are micro-chipped.  If they are then found, your pet can be scanned and the person can locate you, the owner.

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