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    • 17 Oct, 2015

    Remember, Remember, Your Pets This November

    To us humans, Guy Fawkes Night and Diwali are exciting dates on the calendar, which are marked with dazzling displays of impressive fireworks lasting for hours. Though we may enjoy the celebrations, many animals are completely frightened by the unfamiliar loud bangs and whizzing of the fireworks, which may leave them shaking in fear or even escaping away from home in blind panic.

    However, there are lots of things that you can do to help your pet to cope during this incredibly stressful and frightening period.

    How We Calm our Animals

    At The Mayhew Animal Home we do a number of things to keep the animals in our shelter patiently waiting for their forever home calm and stress-free. Our Dog Adoption Officer, Lisa Guiney, said, “We keep the dogs calm by turning their TVs on in their kennels to drown out the noise of the fireworks, and use pet remedy sprays and DAP diffusers. We also have sound proofing in the kennels which helps a lot, and for sensitive dogs we give them kong toys and activity balls as a distraction, or even put them in a thunder coat, which can really help to calm the dog.” – A thunder coat is a jacket that is worn and wrapped round a dog, which reduces stress and anxiety and helps to reassure and calm your pet.

    Here are some more handy tips from The Mayhew to keep your furry friends calm and relaxed during the celebrations:

    • Microchip your pet – Make sure that your cat or dog is always kept in a safe and secure environment, and that they can’t suddenly escape if there’s an unexpected bang. It’s also a good idea to consider having your pet microchipped at The Mayhew Community Vet Clinic, which will give you a greater chance of being reunited with your best friend if they do escape. To book an appointment, please contact us.
    • Never leave your pet alone on the night when the fireworks are abundant, as the stress may cause them to panic and potentially harm themselves.
    • Ensure there’s a place for your pet to hide – With all the noise and commotion outside, your pet might want to retreat to a safe hiding place, such as under the bed or in a cupboard. Ensure that your pet has somewhere secure to hide in and allow them to access their sanctuary at all times, as it helps them to feel safe.
    • Give them a distraction – At nightfall, try to muffle the sound of the fireworks by closing all windows, curtains, doors and pet flaps. You can help to distract them from the noise by turning on the TV or radio, or by giving them a toy to play with.

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    • Keep your pets inside – During the firework season, walk your dog in the daylight hours and make sure that you keep cats and dogs inside when the fireworks are likely to be going off.
    • Feed your pet their evening meal before the fireworks start, as a large meal will help them to feel sated and sleepy.
    • Remain calm – Even though the first thing you’ll want to do is to comfort your pet, try not to reassure pets showing fear and nervous behaviour, as they can read this as praise for being scared. Instead it’s best to remain calm and upbeat, and never turn quickly to see your pet’s reaction when a firework goes off as this can add to their anxiety if they think the owner is concerned by the noise.
    • Rabbits and guinea pigs – Bring all guinea pig or rabbit hutches indoors or into a secure garage or shed, and cover the hutches with a thick blanket to muffle the noise and bright lights.
    • Diffuse the situation – Consider using a pheromone diffuser. Use Adaptil for dogs and Feliway for cats, which release calming pheromones into the air to help calm your pet. You can buy these from us from The Mayhew Community Vet Clinic reception.

    At The Mayhew Animal Home we are always happy to provide pet owners with advice on how they can keep their furry pals safe during Guy Fawkes and Diwali, so please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or queries.

    Photo credit: Bonnie Baker

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