The best top tips for your cats and dogs this Halloween
It’s that time of year again, when cats and dogs are scared and shaken from the constant sound of fireworks going off throughout the day and night.
With this in mind, we asked Paula Sanfey from Palmerstown Veterinary Hospital to offer up some tips for helping your cats and dogs to feel more relaxed at this testing time of year.
Top Tips to help your pet cope with Fireworks:
Before the event:
- Ensure your pet is microchipped and registered. Every year we hear of pets that have gotten a fright and bolted away from their owners due to fireworks or when opening the door to trick or treaters. Microchipping ensures that owners can be reunited with their pets.
- Provide lots of places for your pet to hide and make these spaces comfortable with their blankets or beds – you can even build a den for your pet.
- There are products, available at Palmerstown Veterinary Hospital, that can help to make these areas more comforting to your pet, such as Feliway and Adaptil – in the form of plug ins and sprays.
Signs that your dog has a fear of loud noises:
- Ears back
- Excessive panting
- Barking excessively
- Pacing and panting
- Refusing to eat
- Cowering and hiding behind furniture
Signs that your cat is worried about Fireworks:
- Hiding away
- Excessive grooming
- Interacting less with you
- Ears flattened, tail and hackles raised
- Spraying or peeing on objects
- Over or under eating
On the night:
- Ensure all windows and doors are shut. Close the curtains and turn on the tv or play music for a distraction.
- Keep your cats in after dark and make sure you walk your dog early in the evening when it is still light.
- Make sure resources such as food, water and litter boxes are available for your pet at all times whilst hidden in some part of the home.
- Distract your pets with some new toys or treats.
- But keep sweets and chocolate out of reach – chocolate is toxic to our furry friends.
- During the event allow your pet to hide.
- Do not punish or try to coax your pet out as this may upset them even more.
Some tips on building your Den:
- Ideally the den should be built in advance of the fireworks approximately one month ahead of time.
- The idea of a den is to protect your pet from the loud noises and flashes associated with fireworks.
- Associating the den with positive experiences is important, reward your pet whilst they are in the den with treats and their favourite toy.
- The den can be made from any material so long as it is safe and comfortable. You can build a den with a cardboard box and a blanket or even make a safe haven in between two chairs with a sheet draped over.
- If your pet is used to sleeping in a crate, a towel or blanket could be used to cover the crate.
- Dogs/cats normally have a place where they prefer to hide, normally where there are people. The location of the den should be somewhere that provides comfort and security.
- By plugging an Adaptil/Feliway Diffuser near the den and/or by spraying the inside of the den with Adaptil/Feliway spray, pets can feel safer.
Adaptil is a synthetic copy of the natural ‘canine appeasing pheromone’ which is released by a female dog to reassure her puppies.
This pheromone has been proved to not only reassure puppies, but also adult dogs in challenging situations, such as firework season. It comes in the form of a collar, diffuser for the house and a spray.
Feliway is based on a facial pheromone – every time a cat rubs their face against objects at home, it leaves behind a pheromone which tells the cat that the area is safe and familiar.
By using Feliway it can prevent or reduce stress-related behaviour. I always have one plugged in at home for my 2 kittys.
Feliway comes in the form of a spray or diffuser for the home.
For more great tips from Paula and the guys at Palmerstown Veterinary Hospital check out their website HERE, where you will find a great blog with loads of tips.
They are also running a competition for the best pet den, with a lovely hamper on offer for the winner, and you can find details about that HERE.