Firework Phobias

by Anna Tilley RVN SQP
Published: Last Updated on

Autumn has crept upon us and it is time to start thinking about our pets and the impending firework season, which these days tends to begin a couple of weeks before Bonfire night and continue into the New Year!

There is no quick fix to noise phobias, so we recommend that you begin the de-sensitisation process early—and now is the perfect time.

There are many things you can do to help your pets. For example, you can build a safe den area for them (and let them become accustomed to using it prior to the fireworks season), avoid walking them after dusk when fireworks are due, have the curtains closed and television or radio on a high volume, and avoid ‘encouraging’ fear behaviours by refraining from appeasing them.

We understand this last point is difficult and goes against what we would like to do as an owner. But a hands-off approach, letting them choose to hide if necessary, has been proven to go some way in alleviating these fear behaviours.

Don’t forget that cats may also have these phobias. As a species they prefer high or darkened hiding places, so remember to accommodate this as well.

There are a number of medications licensed for noise phobias, and your vet will be able to advise and prescribe accordingly. Additionally, we can help with longer term management of noise phobias or other anxiety related issues.

We also have a full range of non-chemical supplements which can help to suppress the phobia itself. Most of these do need to be used for a number of weeks prior to the firework events and so we advise you begin now.

We are happy to help you tailor a regime specific to you and your pets, so don’t hesitate to call us and ask for advice.

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