Milton Keynes Vets: Keeping your dog calm during firework season
The team at Milton Keynes Veterinary Group believe that it is never too early for dog owners to start preparing for the upcoming firework season. The bright lights and loud noises of fireworks can cause dogs an unprecedented amount of stress. To minimise your pet’s stress levels and to reduce the risk of them injuring themselves, and if you are concerned as to how your dog will react to fireworks, then we recommend you book an appointment at Milton Keynes Veterinary Group to discuss what options are available to help your dog.
There are products you can invest in that work well at keeping dogs calm, however, as each dog is unique, it is important to discover what works for them. Examples of these are:
- Calming supplements – these promote relaxation and come in various forms, such as dog chews, tablets and liquids. They tend to use ingredients thought to contain calming properties such as chamomile, valerian root and L-theanine.
- Thundershirts – a vest that provides constant but gentle pressure to your dog’s body. This will have a calming effect, similar to a baby being swaddled.
- Pheromone diffusers – these release synthetic, man-made pheromones mimicking the natural calming pheromones released by dogs. These diffusers will help to reduce their anxiety levels during firework season.
- Prescription medication – there are a number of different medications that could be prescribed by our team at Milton Keynes Veterinary Group. Sedatives and anti-anxiety medication amongst others, can medically help to reduce your dog’s anxiety by reducing the serotonin levels in their brain. There are either long-acting or short-acting options available and both will need to be dispensed and their dosage prescribed by a vet who has examined your dog. Book an appointment with us at our Walnut Tree surgery to discuss these.
As well as the products above, there are a number of different management techniques you can try at home to make firework season easier for your dog:
- Walk your dog during daylight hours and make sure they are snuggled up indoors when it goes dark.
- Create a safe space for your dog to hide when they’re feeling anxious. This could be a quiet corner of a room, away from a window and its essential they feel like they’re in control in this area. Once they take themselves to that area, do not interfere with your dog.
- Use their favourite toys/bedding/treats in this area so they start to associate positively with it and ensure they have access to it at all times.
- Muffle the sound of fireworks by shutting windows and black out the light flashes by drawing the curtains/blinds.
- Putting on the television or playing music in the background will help distract your dog – Classic FM’s pet classics is a hit for pets across the country, learn more about this here.
There are a number of different ways that owners can help their dogs during firework season, but our team of experienced vets can also advise and help when needed. Book an appointment with our team well in advance of any firework events in Milton Keynes to give your pet the best chance at a calm firework season.