Taking the Bang out of Fireworks for Pet Owners

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Whilst many people enjoy the squeals, crashes and bangs associated with fireworks, Bonfire Night can be a real nightmare for pets and their owners.

Whilst many people enjoy the squeals, crashes and bangs associated with fireworks, Bonfire Night can be a real nightmare for pets and their owners

Many pet owners dread fireworks and although November 5th is the traditional night for displays; celebrations often start weeks before, end weeks later, and then there’s New Year fireworks too.

Pet owners may not be aware that some of the behaviours their pet exhibits to loud, unexpected noises can be stress related and there are ways pet owners can make firework season more bearable.

There are many steps that can be taken to help dogs that suffer at this time of year, from providing a hiding place, playing music, relaxing tablets or drops, and DAP diffusers which are also said to be beneficial.

There have been many studies carried out on the affects of DAP (which stands for Dog Appeasing Pheromone) and the results found that the introduction of this non-intrusive plug in diffuser had a calming result on the dogs that had access to it.

Experiments have been conducted on dogs in stressful situations such as animals shelters, as well as those who have problems with fireworks and, in some cases, the use of the DAP diffuser prevented the need for drugs to be used on the dog. In fact, in 2004, NewScientist.com reported that an experiment had been carried out on dogs in shelters and found out that the dogs who had access to the diffuser were found to bark less, at a lower volume and were said to be more relaxed, calm and friendly to strangers.

The study looked at 54 dogs in total. 37 had access to a DAP diffuser and 17 didn’t. The DAP dogs were said to bark less frequently at a lesser volume in addition to being more welcoming towards strangers who approached them. In fact, it was said that DAP dogs: ‘…tended to be relaxed and interested in their environment, suggesting DAP was having a calming effect…’

In fact, a well known dog charity suggests the use of DAP when moving to help keep dogs calm, and another suggests the use of DAP can help with fears related to fireworks.

The pheromone used is a synthetic version of chemicals that a bitch produces shortly after whelping. The aim of this is to reassure the puppies.

Ideally, the DAP diffuser should be used for at least two weeks prior the date it is required. This helps to build up a real barrier. The beauty of this product is that it is not a drug so will not make the dog drowsy.

When cats feel safe and secure, they often rub their faces along items of furniture, walls, and other household surfaces. This action passes on a pheromone which is the basis of Feliway.

Feliway contains the pacifying properties of cat facial pheromones. Feliway is available as a spray or a diffuser helping to cater for overall and more directed stress management.

If the dog or cat has a serious phobia then calming supplements, e.g. Serene Um tablets or drops, or training C.Ds such as ‘Sounds Scary’ are best, and it is advisable to do this a good few weeks prior to Bonfire night so everything is prepared or, in the case of a supplement, the product has had time to work.

Many charities advise owners to allow their pets to hide wherever they want to, making a den can help, as can the owner’s calm attitude expressed through not getting upset and shouting. It advisable instead to give the animal praise and attention when it relaxes.

All of these products can be obtained from Nutrecare, the online animal health company. A simple phone call or visit to http://www.nutrecare.co.uk can provide the perfect medium to order all the products needed, at an amazing price…and then they’re delivered straight to your door!

To find out more about DAP and other calming products, see http://www.nutrecare.co.uk, e mail support @ nutrecare.co.uk or telephone 01562 825978.

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Michael Bianco
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