As the evenings draw in and the weather turns colder and wetter, preparations are under way to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night.
Celebrating the 5th November is part of welcoming winter and is great fun for children and adults alike but it can be a very stressful time for animals.
Cats and dogs have much more sensitive hearing than we do and are able to hear fireworks that we can not. When we are at home and we hear fireworks outside, we understand what is happening but for our pets it can be a very confusing time and the noise made by fireworks can trigger a strong stress response.
We can help our pets to cope by closing the curtains and turning up the volume of the TV or radio to help to drown out the sound. Make sure that your pets are indoors while fireworks go off. It is important to do this at dusk before the fireworks start as it is less effective once the stress levels have already risen.
We can unwittingly make things worse by fussing our pets when they become anxious. This re-inforces the stress behaviour in their minds. Fussing them confirms in their minds that there is something to be concerned about. It is best to try not to respond to their anxiety.
Finally medication can help to make them less anxious and there are a number of options now available. Adaptil for dogs and Feliway for cats is available from Vets and creates an environment creating a scent hormone which conveys a message of security and reassurance. It is very safe for you and your pet.
Another option is a tablet medication which helps your cat or dog to smoothly and quickly adapt to changing situations and can be used prior to firework stress.
Neither of these options make your pet drowsy but do often help them to cope more effectively.
As ever, planning early is essential. These products take some time to work and so seeing your vet and getting organised now is important.