Guy Fawkes / Bonfire night is upon us... many pet owners complain, but as a pet owner, here's some highly beneficial proactive tips you can use to ensure the well-being of your pet, so you can also win the battle while you continue to fight the war against fireworks...
It's that time of year when you will no doubt be alerted by an unexpected explosion of a cracker or firework being set off in your neighbourhood. If you think you get a fright, can you imagine your pet who doesn't understand what it is which is in most cases likely to cause panic, stress aswell as massive anxiety.Now every year people complain and the war against fireworks continues however hey at PharSide we live by the rule of, complaining without wanting to help provide a temporary aswell as permanent solution is just known as whining... so lets not be a bunch of whiners people, here's some great tips to help you and your beloved pet deal with a bit of a kak situation that is probably out of your immediate control...trust me, its pretty hard to find the bugger that let a cracker off three houses down, or could it have been the second house down, or across the road to the right...catch my drift?We'll explore some great DIY advice/tips aswell as look at some great products available both in the UK as well as South Africa that will make your pooch or kitty cat feel like he/she is on a beach in Jamaica smoking a big one...and be like... "Firework?... what firework? just chill bru, come now, you're messing with my buzz bru...leave it, just leave, don't worry, I'll just bark those kids in their moer tomorrow like...ja, no..ok kiff...what were we talking about again?" 🙂 And no I don't mean giving your pet any weed... ok
DIY Advice/Tips (for both dogs and cats) Make sure your dog or cat always has somewhere to hide if he/she wants to and has access to this place at all times. For example this could be under some furniture or in a cupboard...
you could even be really nice and build them a fort with some lekker soft pillows, blankies, a mini bar, DSTV and a nice doggy biscuit flavoured shisha pipe (again... no zol please)... the object is of course to make he/she feel as safe and comfortable as possible... for more tips on how to make a bitch feel comfortable, just ask my mates ex missus... 🙂During firework seasons, (yes that means pretty much the first week or two in November and then again at the end of December) walk dogs during bright daylight hours and keep cats and dogs indoors when fireworks are likely to be set off, which is likely to be as the evening sets
... you must know, firework puta's are waiting with their lighters at the ready, itching to light that fuse at the first opportunity they get.As the evening sets in, close windows and curtains and put on music to mask and muffle the sound of fireworks
.... something with some decent rhythmic beats which your pet will easily and quickly get comfortable with due to the rhythm, so some chilled Sunday Sessions will probably do you and your pooch well... that's electronic dance music (EDM) for you old skool crowd mkay, ask one of your kids to hit you up with a couple of tracks or simply play one of Let's Pop
(like that page... like it now! you wanna be part of that crowd yoh!) DJ's Tech Tait's 1 hour sessions on SoundCloud
... which mind you is filled with claps etc which at, not too high volume to scare the animal, will no doubt dilute firework and cracker bangs...plus it will certainly get you in the mood for a banger weekend! Let's Pop Events Page
(UK) or The Mad Dutchman
(SA)It's fine to comfort your pet (really it is, just like you, they like to feel loved) if it helps them relax, or leave them alone unless you think they will harm themselves, in which case you need to fulfil your parental duties.
..you'll hold your friend in needs hair while they speak to the toilet during a heavy night out, you should be prepared to comfort your petrified pet on a night in.Never punish your pets when they're scared as this will only makes things worse in the long run...
so if they kak themselves or most likely wee themselves as most dogs do when the are scared, be nice ..and just clean it up no questions asked mkay 🙂Make sure your cat or dog is always kept in a safe and secure environment and can’t escape if there’s a sudden noise
.... this is possibly the worst thing that can happen so make sure it can't happen, because if your scared pet gets loose and makes a run for it, they are going to be running scared most likely not stop aswell as note where they are going... they will be in a state of panic, which will likely get them very lost and disoriented.Have your pet microchipped and your address details are up to date with the chip provider in case they do escape
.... What? you haven't had your dog or cat microchipped? Jinne boet, come now...you have a responsibility as a parent and not having your pet chipped is not very responsible (yes, our pets are our kids... but you already knew that... unless you're reading a blog post on how to care for your pet during fireworks, when you don't actually own a pet, which is just weird haha)
Tips For Dogs Only - Before firework season starts.... (yes its too late now, but for next time, this info is GOLD!)
Obviously something to bear in mind so you're even better equipped next year, before the firework season starts, planning ahead can help your dog cope with the firework season. Talk to your vet about pheromone diffusers. These disperse calming chemicals into the room and may be a good option for your dog, in some cases your vet may even prescribe medication which we'll check out a bit further down, which in my own experience work absoluteflippingwonders! We would recommend asking your vet about using the 'Sounds Scary' therapy pack
(download it free, its GOLD!). Before the firework season starts provide your dog with a doggy safe haven, this should be a quiet area so choose one of the quietest rooms in your home. It should be a place where the animal feels it is in control, so don't interfere with it when it's in that area. Train your dog to associate the area with positive experiences eg. by leaving toys there but not imposing yourself at any time. Use a variety of toys and swap them regularly, putting them away when not in use so that your dog doesn't become bored with them. With time your dog can learn that this place is safe and enjoyable. So when fireworks happen it may choose to go here because it knows that when it is here, no harm will come to it and so it's more able to cope. It is important that your dog has access to its doggy safe haven at all times even when you’re not at home.
Tips For Dogs Only - When the fireworks start to kick off
- Close any windows and black out the ‘doggy play area’ (if you have one already) or temporary last-minute safe zone which you can create in a room for them, to remove any extra problems caused by flashing lights.
- Each evening before the fireworks begin, move your dog to the play area/safe zone and provide toys and other things that they enjoy. Make sure that there are things for you to do too so that your dog isn't left alone, or at least you are happy that he is content with the situation...check on them very regularly to monitor the situation.... I don't think I need to tell you how destructive an upset dog can be...ie. scratched doors etc.
- Ignore the firework noises yourself, (they won't hurt you, I promise, so no unnecessary drama queens freaking out, time to adult for your pet ok) Animals can sense fear and distress in humans very easily, it's a given, if you show signs of distress its like a free trump card for your dog to panic. Play with a toy to see if your dog wants to join in, but don’t force them to play.
- If you know a dog that isn't scared by noises and which gets on well with your dog, then keeping the two together during the evenings may help your dog to realise that there’s no need to be afraid. It's not uncommon for a big dog to be shown by a small dog not to be scared, so don't make a big deal and embarrass the poor bugger ok 🙂
Sounds Scary – for dogs
In the long-term your dog needs to learn to be less afraid of loud noises. With proper treatment this is possible so that the next firework season will be less stressful for you and your dog. Sounds Scary is a very easy to follow therapy pack for dogs which includes a specially made set of high quality sound recordings and an easy to follow guide. The amount of training needed will vary from dog to dog so owners should start training with the Sounds Scary pack well in advance of firework seasons. Visit Sound Therapy 4 Pets for more information.
It's free to download, so there's really no excuse to give it a try... unless you're on 56K dial-up which means it's probably gonna take you til next year to download... so start now 🙂
Tips For Cats Only:
Cats can be a bit of a different case since they usually have a free range to come and go as they please however can get equally distressed during the chaos, so preparation is key with cats, if possible during the afternoon, set your cat flap to allow them in but not let them out again, most cat flaps have this function, if no cat flap then once he's in during the afternoon, don't let him/her out again, but remember to make sure you already have a box of sand available and the furry little feline friend knows where the box is... else you'll very quickly find out what its like to have a house/flat wreaking of stale cat piss... it's not kiff... trust me I know, I learnt the hard way 🙂
- Make sure your cat has somewhere to hide if it wants to. For example this may be under some furniture or in a quiet corner.
- Don’t try and tempt your cat out as it will very likely become more stressed.
- Unless he/she is in a position that can hurt him/herself, then best leave them alone as the will come out of when they are ready... you own a cat, you know this 🙂 it's always on their terms... always 🙂
Don’t forget small animals (Hamsters,Mice,Rabbits,Hedgehogs)
- If your pets live outside, partly cover cages, pens and aviaries with blankets so that one area is well sound-proofed. Make sure that your pet is still able to look out.
- Provide lots of extra bedding so your pet has something to burrow in.
Very Useful Products - (Anti-Stress/Calming Drops or Tablets) For UK:
Pets at Home stock a wide range of products that you can buy over the counter, have a look at reviews on their website or ask a person in the store what would be the best product to use given that some products do require a few days take effect, while others can be used at short notice, check the Pets At Home website to see what I'm talking about
and find your nearest branch... you probably got one just around the corner no doubt 🙂 When I moved recently I used Dr. Lauder's Relaxation Complex drops (herbal relaxant)
for my Bengals and they were pretty damn chilled out I won't lie...apart from one escaping from his travel cocoon while I was doing 70mph down the motorway, they were quite relaxed overall so definitely be using it again over the course firework season.For South Africa:
I spoke to a number of friends in SA today and quite a few people said that many vets recommend Rescue Tablets/drops
(drops better for cats) for both dogs and cats, however I would highly recommend that you make a quick phone call to your vet to get an idea of dosage since there is normally quite a difference in size and weight between dogs/dogs and cats. Rescue tablets are available at most chemists ie. Dischem or R72 for a pack of 150 tabs at Clicks
If any vets (and can verify that they are) can recommend dosages, please could you advise in the comments below or give me a shout via the contact page and I'll update the post.You now armed with some pretty hardcore tips to help keep your pooches in a good mental state over the coming weeks so everyone's a winner... except for inconsiderate idiots who let of fireworks in unnecessary areas... your time is coming to an end, slowly but surely.If you have any great tips and ideas absolutely please don't hesitate to let us know in the comments below...plus also share this post on Facebook, Twitter everywhere, the more people who know and quicker, the better for all animals. At the very least, send this post to a friend that you know has pets...they'll thank you for it!Lekker!In all seriousness guys, please look after your pets over the next few weeks... this is the time of year when so many pets go missing, don't let your pet become a statistic, ask if you could ever forgive yourself knowing you could have done something to prevent something bad from happening to them...