Fireworks can cause a lot of stress for some pets. Our staff at both the Dorchester and Weymouth surgeries will be happy to help and advise if you have any worries regarding your pets and fireworks. All of the following products are available from both our vets in Dorset.
Adaptil Diffuser For Dogs
Adaptil contains “DAP” which stands for “Dog Appeasing Pheromone.” It puts a hormone smell into the air that has a calming effect on the dogs exposed to it.
The diffuser simply plugs into an electric plug socket and will continuously work for 4-6 weeks.
The pheromone released is undetectable to humans and has been proven to dramatically calm nervous and upset dogs. Clinical trials have shown that there was an 80% improvement in clinical signs (i.e: shaking, panting etc).
It is advisable for best results to start using the Adaptil diffuser at least ONE month before the event although in some cases TWO weeks is sufficient.
Feliway works for cats in the same way that the Adaptil diffuser works for dogs by releasing calming pheromones into the environment.
Feliway is used to restore a cats natural balance by recreating the same pheromone used when a cat rubs its face on objects.
It is important to start using the feliway plug in at least ONE month before the event to gain maximum benefit although in some cases TWO weeks is sufficient.
**Both ADAPTIL and FELIWAY are now available as a more rapidly acting SPRAY and ADAPTIL is also available as a collar
Zylkene Capsules For Dogs And Cats
Given once a day from the day before an expected stressful situation. They are a natural product which just helps your pet deal calmly with a potentially stressful situation such as Firework Night.
The capsules can be split and put in food or swallowed whole. They can be given for a short time or continuously if required. No side effects have been associated with their use.
Nutracalm Capsules – For mild firework anxiety, may be given to cats and dogs. This is a non-prescription medication and can be purchased over the counter.
If your pet experiences severe anxiety, there are drugs that can be prescribed. A vet consultation is required to give indication as to what is suitable for your pet.
Xanax tablets – for mild to severe anxiety, this is only available to dogs. It can only be prescribed by a vet.
Sileo Gel – for mild to severe anxiety, this is only available to dogs. It can only be prescribed by a vet.
However, if it seems to be required more regularly than just stressful events, we recommend consulting a vet to see if there is underlying medical or behavioural issues.
Behaviour Modification using Sounds Scary Desensitisation CD
This CD will take time so ideally you should start using it TWO or THREE months before firework season begins.
The CD comes with full instructions that enables you to play the sounds of fireworks to your dog over a period of time, gradually increasing the noise levels.
You will need to be there to reward your dog when it demonstrates calm behaviour, thus enforcing that when they hear real fireworks they will come to no harm.
Over several weeks your dog will become accustomed to the noises and so when the real thing happens they will not panic. The CD is produced by qualified behaviourists who have developed it over a number of years.
Should you want further information on any of the products that have been mentioned or other products available for firework phobias please do not hesitate to contact us at the surgery. Our staff will be happy to discuss the products with you or if your prefer you can collect some information leaflets regarding individual products.