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Broad Lane Vets Ltd
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Stating the obvious perhaps...
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Our top tips for coping with fireworks fear:
Plan ahead & ask us for advice. Ask us for a firework leaflet, or download it from offers page on our website: www.broadlanevets.co.uk
Make sure your dogs are walked early in the day and then kept in. Provide cats with a litter tray.
Make a safe den where your pet can retreat.
Play music or TV, and try to act normally.
Resist the temptation to soothe and comfort your pet. This can make the fear worse.
Follow instructions carefully for best results from pheromone products or medicines.
Cover hutches and turn to face a wall – this will help deaden the noise. Alternatively bring your little pets indoors for a few days.
If you left it too late to plan properly this year, make a note in next year’s diary now.
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Here are some tips for our rabbit and guinea pig owners to help your pets on Bonfire Night:
• Bring your rabbit hutch inside. If this isn’t possible, partly cover hutches and other outside cages with blankets or duvets so that they have some soundproofing
• For indoor pets close windows and draw curtains
• Provide some background “white noise” such as the TV, radio or other music - start this in advance of the fireworks starting
• Make sure hutches and cages contain hiding places and secure areas where your pet can go to feel safe, and give plenty of bedding. This will help keep noise out and provide a hiding place
• Rabbits, in particular, are social animals. Try to make sure they’re with someone they know.
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Many people assume that the only solution would be to sedate their pet so that they sleep through the noise, but there are several drawbacks to this. Firstly, sedatives are prescription only medicines which cannot legally be supplied to you over the counter. Popping in to the surgery for some sedatives on November 4th is not likely to be successful. Secondly, different animals react differently to the same drug sometimes, so your vet may want to find the best dosage by having a trial run. Thirdly, if fireworks in your area go on for days or weeks, it is unlikely to be a good idea to sedate your dog or cat repeatedly. If sedatives are used, there has been a change over recent years away from some types which may make the animal quite immobile but do little or nothing to calm its fear. More commonly used now are drugs which calm the animal but do not necessarily knock it out. Make an appointment with one of our vets if you need further advice on the right product for your pet. This is a chargeable consultation.
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Owners can help their cats cope with fireworks by keeping them indoors. Provide enough litter trays throughout the house and ensure all of the cats in the household have safe places to hide in. These often are up high, for example on the top of cupboards, but could also be under a bed or in a box. Once a cat has found a safe spot for the night, leave it alone and do not try to coax it out, as this refuge is where it feels most secure.
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With Diwali starting this week firework season is again with us. Dogs should have a safe haven or den to retreat to in the home; an area that they feel secure in. The den can be a place that the dog already uses and adapted to be as comfortable, dark and quiet as possible, or a manmade temporary option such as a cardboard box or crate. Preparing a den in advance allows the dog to get used to the area and accept it as a safe place. A towel or blanket can be placed over the den to dim the sounds and lights of the fireworks. The dog should have access to the den at all times.
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A dog can never have enough toys. We'll need an Otto risk assessment in the office soon :-)
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Hannah's dog Hugo loves to visit us at the surgery. He's such a cutie!
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