Darker Nights

Autumn is my favourite season, and although it happens to be the month that my birthday falls in (no pun intended), it is also the season of incredible coloured foliage, conkers and crisp outdoor walks with leaves crunching under foot! As the clocks changes and the days get shorter, this means that many people are walking their dogs in the darker hours. It is a good idea to consider reflective collars for your dogs and cats. Beware of bulky harnesses, unfortunately many restrict your pet’s natural movement of their front legs and always use quick release collars on cats.

This time of year is also the season of many fireworks. They can be a source of much anxiety to many of our pets.

Top tips for Firework Anxiety

  • Keep your pets indoors during times of fireworks
  • Making sure they have had a good walk before dark and a big meal can help make them relax and feel sleepy
  • As hard as it is, allow them to pace, bark/miaow, and hide if they wish to. Reassuring them too much at this point can actually confirm to them that it is a scary event, whereas they will benefit more from you staying calm and acting normal
  • Give lots of praise for calm behaviour
  • Making sure they have a “safe place/den” that they can hide in if they wish to
  • Closing curtains and leaving the TV or radio on can help block the noise of the fireworks
  • Although not a quick fix, desensitisation soundtracks can also help
  • Spray or plug in pheromones are readily available and can be very useful in milder cases of noise phobias to reduce anxiety
  • In several cases, your vet may be able to prescribe prescription drugs to help