Firework Fear

25 Oct 2012

Fireworks are used for numerous celebrations throughout the year and for nervous pets this is a problem we all MUST address if our pets are to have a good quality of life.It is never too early to start to desensitise your pet to loud or unexpected noises before they develop a phobia.Here at Oakmount Vets we actively promote a SOUND PHOBIA DESENSITISATION PROGRAMME. Please ask a member of our team for details.Remember to prepare well in advance if you currently have a fearful pet.There are many products available to use safely. In addition to desensitisation there are pheromone plug ins, sprays and collars for both dogs and cats, homeopathic options and if necessary conventional medication. It is important that you find the right way to proceed for your pet. Please arrange an initial free consultation with one of our Practice Nurses.You can help your pet by starting early before they become too distressed. Make sure they are in a safe, escape proof environment - frightened animals will run!Engage your pet in physical exercise during the day so they are more likely to be tired.Feed early and do not let cats outside after feeding - provide an indoor litter tray if necessary.Ignore any anxious behaviour. Cuddling an unstable pet reinforces their negative behaviour and is seen as a reward. This only confirms that there is something to be afraid of.Draw the curtains and turn up the TV or music to mask outside noise. Familiar routine helps build confidence.Leave music on if you have to leave the house and provide safe toys as a distraction and comfort. Avoid petting your pet or making a fuss when you leave them.A safe "Den" for your pet, e.g. a covered indoor kennel , will provide security and comfort. Including a blanket or object with your scent on can reinforce this.Be calm yourself. If you are stressed your pet will pick up on this and become more stressed.Remember we are here to help you and your pets. For more information and an appointment telephone Oakmount Veterinary Centre on 01282 423640.