Veterinary practice Laakkwartier

Tips for fireworks anxiety

Tips for fireworks anxiety

The fireworks period is coming up again and as this is often a stressful time for pets
is we like to share some tips to make yours and your New Year's Eve as enjoyable as possible.

Tip 1: Create a safe and comfortable shelter
This is a place where your pet will be as comfortable as possible. It protects from flashes and loud noises from outside. It is best to create a safe haven for this, for example, if your pet is used to the crate you can hang a rug over it and leave the crate open so your pet can retreat into it if he/she wants to. You could also create a safe haven in the spot where your pet normally likes to lie. Cats like to sit up high and hide when afraid. So make sure you create a place for this.

Tip 2: Check chip data is up to date
Unfortunately, we see that many chip details are not correctly registered in the database. Especially during the fireworks period, when the chance of your pet getting scared and escaping is higher, it is of extra importance that your pet's chip is properly registered. If you have the chip details yourself, you can check via whether the chip has been registered and whether the details are still correct. If you do not know the data, have your pet's chip checked in time by one of our assistants. They will read the chip, check whether it still works and check the registration with the database. Please make an appointment so we can make sure we have time for you.

Tip 3: Prevention is better than cure
Try to take your pet away from places where many fireworks are set off, such as parks, car parks, etc. In case a rocket is unexpectedly set off in the presence of your pet, try to react lightly yourself and tell your pet in a non-comforting, enthusiastic way that nothing is wrong. In this case, try to distract your pet with a toy or something sweet.

Tip 4: Let dogs out leashed
Unfortunately, far too often we hear of fireworks being thrown at pets, even if your pet listens so well this will cause a startle reaction with all its consequences. So please walk your dog on a leash at all times.

Tip 5: Shut everything down 
Close all doors, windows and curtains as soon as it gets dark. Do turn on lights and soothing music.
It is important to start this now so that it is a normal situation for your pet

Tip 6: Provide support where needed
If your pet does get startled by fireworks, you may support your pet. You do this by talking quietly to your pet and, if your pet allows it, petting it quietly. Be careful not to give excessive attention.

Tip 7: Never punish your pet if he/she is scared
Punishment can make the fear worse. In addition, it can also create anxiety for you as the owner. Supporting your pet, as discussed in tip 6 is the best option.

Tip 8: Provide distractions
Try distracting your dog with a toy or some treats in exciting situations. By drawing attention elsewhere, your pet will be less preoccupied with the fireworks being set off outside. You can do this by, for example, playing with your pet or distracting it by offering it a Lickimat or a kong.

Tip 9: Let your pet choose where to sit
Most pets self-select a place where they experience the least stress. This could be the owner's lap, under the sofa, in the closet, and the toilet or in the bathtub, for example. Let your pet be free in this, and in cats, make sure food and the litter box are placed somewhere nearby.

Tip 10: Use support products where needed
If you have applied the above tips and your pet is still very afraid of fireworks, we advise you to early starting with support products. You can think of food, supplements, bands, sprays and vapourisers.
You can contact us for these products.

Should your pet have extreme fear of fireworks, there is an option to use medication for this. This medication is only available on veterinary prescription because your pet needs a full check-up before it can be used safely. So make an appointment in time!

Please note that the medication can only be used for the short term, so really the last days before New Year's Eve and-or on New Year's Eve. For the preceding period, which is actually now, we recommend starting with supplements, bands, sprays or vapourisers.

Finally, we would like to advise you not to leave your pet alone on New Year's Eve! If you cannot stay at home yourself, please arrange for a trusted babysitter.

We hope these tips will make New Year's Eve as comfortable as possible for you and your pet.

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