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Sunday, 24 October 2010

Helping your pet through Bonfire Night

Hi It's me, Tristan - I'm Carys's famous cat! My mum has just passed her final veterinary nursing exams. She has worked so hard over the last two and a half years, and now she has her greens! She is a Registered Veterinary Nurse. But back to me! I am a very important member of the Broad Lane team - you should have seen the adulation I received at our Open Day last month. Fantastic photo of me in my halloween outfit isn't it. Anyway to more important matters - Bonfire Night! My mum keeps me and Princess Imogen (and the rest of the family) indoors over that noisy weekend. We have a stress reducing pheremone diffuser, from Broad Lane Vets, we have music on and a hideaway bed incase we are frightened. There's lots you can do to help your pets you know. You can call into the surgeries for advice - we have a display in each waiting room, with lots of leaflets you can take home or if you contact us we can post or email you some leaflets. We have posted some advice below that we hope will help.

TIPS TO HELP YOUR DOG THROUGH THE FIREWORK SEASON
1. Prepare a ‘den’ for your dog, so that he has somewhere to hide during the fireworks. Encourage him to use it by hiding healthy food treats or toys there. If your dog hides in a corner or under a bed, leave him alone and do not try to coax him out. This ‘bolthole’ is where he will feel most secure and must be accessible at all times. You can further help create this comforting ‘den’ for your dog by using a plug in pheromone spray.
2. On the evenings you expect fireworks, ensure your dog is safely inside and secure doors and windows
3. Make sure your pet is microchipped. If they do escape, frightened, confused animals can easily get lost
4. Ensure your dog is taken out for a walk early in the evening before the fireworks start
5. Draw curtains to reduce the noise from outside and play music or have the TV on to help mask the noise of fireworks
6. Ignore any fearful behaviour and do not try to comfort your pet. The animal will pick up on your anxiety and this may make the problem worse. Fussing a pet that appears frightened can reward and encourage this behaviour
7. Don’t punish your pet. This only confirms that there is something to be afraid of
8. Try not to go out while the fireworks are going off. Seeing you acting normally will help your pet feel more settled
If you are worried that your pet is taking a long time to recover from the firework festivities, speak to your vet about a behavioural therapy referral to a qualified behavioural counsellor. For further information on how to prepare your pet for the firework season, please contact us at Broad Lane Vets.

TIPS TO HELP YOUR CAT THROUGH THE FIREWORK SEASON

1. On the evenings you expect fireworks, ensure your cat is safely inside and secure doors, windows and cat flaps. If your cat is not used to being kept in, use Feliway spray to help reduce unwanted behaviours.
2. If your cat hides on top of cupboards or under furniture, leave her alone and do not try to coax her out. This ‘bolthole’ is where she will feel most secure. It is important that your cat can access her favourite bolthole at all times.
3. Plug a pheromone diffuser in the room where your cat spends most of her time 48 hours before the festivities will increase her sense of security
4. Make sure your cat is microchipped. If they do escape, frightened, confused animals can easily get lost
5. Ensure your cat is provided with a litter tray both before and during the firework season
6. Draw curtains to reduce the noise from outside and play music or have the TV on to help mask the noise of fireworks
7. Ignore any fearful behaviour and do not try to comfort your cat. More importantly, do not try to pick her up or restrain her. Fearful cats prefer to be left to cope on their own
8. Try not to go out while the fireworks are going off. Stay calm and act normally
9. In multi-cat households, shutting cats in overnight may cause disharmony amongst your pets. A pheromone diffuser may help lower inter-cat tension
If you are worried that your pet is taking a long time to recover from the firework festivities, speak to your vet. For further information on how to prepare your pet for the firework season, please contact us at Broad Lane Vets.

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