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Fear of Fireworks? – Read our top tips here!

Veterinary Advice for Pet Owners during fireworks season.

  • Pets commonly suffer from noise phobia and Hallowe’en can be a very distressing time.
  • Up to 80% of pet owners report that their pet is afraid of fireworks.  Most pets will display mild symptoms of fear or anxiety initially but if improperly managed they tend to get worse.
  • Some of these animals will suffer from noise phobias  – their reaction to certain noises are sudden, extreme and excessive. This can be very distressing for pets as well as their owners and can result in harm to the pet.  For example dogs may panic and run blindly – Hallowe’en is a common time of year for pets to go missing or to be injured on the roads.

Some signs to look of anxiety to look out for in pets

 

Dogs

  • Shivering or shaking
  • Destructive behaviour – chewing/scratching
  • Soiling the house
  • Panting excessively
  • Licking lips
  • Pacing
  • Attempting to run away

Cats

  • Cowering or hiding
  • House soiling
  • Refusing to eat
  • Attempting to run away

Top tips for pet owners in Dublin this Hallowe’en

  1. Provide a den or a hiding place where your pet can feel safe. Make your pet a comfortable bed here, with old sweatshirts and other clothing to give your pet a sense of your reassuring presence.   A crate with some blankets over it is ideal for a dog. A cat may prefer to hide in a high up location such as the top of a wardrobe.
  2. Keep your pet inside with the doors and windows closed and your favourite radio station switched on in the room. Provide an extra litter tray for cats.
  3. Make sure to exercise your dog early in the day, and give your pet something to do in the evening (such as chewing a frozen food-stuffed dog toy).
  4. Ensure that all pets are wearing identification tags and have microchip identification.
  5. Ignore fearful behaviour such as panting, shaking or whining. If owners give such animals extra attention in an attempt to “comfort” them, the pet will perceive this as a reward for displaying this type of behaviour and it can make matters worse over time.
  6. Do not punish your pet for anxious behaviour such as scratching at doors or house soiling. This also can tend to exacerbate anxiety and make matters worse.
  7. Call in to one of our vet clinics and pick up a DAP collar for your dog or Feliway for your cat. These pheromone releasing products have been proven to relieve anxiety in stressed pets!
  8. In severe cases visit you may need to make an appointment to see one of our vets. We have two veterinary clinics in the Dublin area, Hermitage Veterinary Clinic and Old Bawn Veterinary Clinic. We may be able to prescribe something to help in the short term and devise a long term plan for noise desensitisation – for next year!

 

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