CARING FOR YOUR PET
If your dog, cat or rabbit is feeling a little under the weather, or just needs a general check-up book an appointment to come in and see us. WA Robb specialise in helping you keep your pet healthy and happy, while giving you useful advice to make caring for your pet easier.
PETS AND FIREWORKS
Firework season can be scary for our pets – both dogs and cats can be frightened when faced with the loud bangs and flashes. It is important to remember that other pets might not show outward signs of distress but can also find the loud noises upsetting – birds, rabbits, and guinea pigs for example.
The ideal time to start working on helping a pet over the firework season is a couple of months before, before the nights start to draw in. Desensitisation programmes using sound CDs have been shown to be the most effective way of helping your pet, but if you have missed this window, there are other things you can do:
DOGS AND CATS
- Don’t walk dogs in the dark around firework time. Keep cats indoors after dark.
- Make sure they have a safe place to hide – this could be under a bed, in their crate or bed, or behind furniture. Cats like to be high up so maybe clear the top of a wardrobe.
- At night close windows and curtains and turn a radio or TV on at low levels to reduce the noise coming from outside
- Act normally – if you get anxious your dog will pick up on this and make the fear worse.
- Don’t punish them for acting scared, but don’t overdo the reassurances either – this can reinforce the thought that there is something to be worried about. Praise calm behaviour.
- Keep external doors closed, ensure your cat is microchipped and keep your dog’s collar on, even in the house – so they can be identified if they escape and run off in a panic.
- If your pets live outside, ideally move the cage indoors, e.g. into a shed. If the cage is too big, partially cover it with a blanket to block out some of the noise.
- Provide extra bedding, if appropriate, for your pet to hide in.
MEDICATION AND COMPLEMENTARY TREATMENTS
- For dogs and cats, pheromone products exist to help them cope with stressful events. Adaptil (for dogs) is available as a collar or as a diffuser. Feliway (for cats) is available as both a diffuser and a spray.
- Some nutraceuticals can have a calming effect – Zylkene, Calmex and Nutracalm all work in similar ways and can be quite effective. Some take a few days to work and others work right away.
- There are few prescription medications that can be trialled, but the results can be unpredictable - it is best not to rely on these, but they can be used as a last resort. Please note that for these prescription medications to be given out we must see your pet, or have seen it very recently.
- Come and speak to us if you have any concerns, and hopefully you and your pet will find fireworks a bit less stressful!