Dogs and cats can be frightened and disturbed by thunderstorms, fireworks or any loud or sudden noises. This fear can become extreme and some pets develop firework phobia, showing a level of fear that seems out of proportion with the sound. Many pets suffer during the fireworks season, which can often continue right through until the New Year. Firework phobia can suddenly develop in pets, that have previously not been afraid of noises. Some older cats and dogs suddenly start becoming afraid of noises, perhaps because they are hearing them differently due to age-related hearing change. When firework noise starts pets may shake, salivate or mess in the house; howl, hiss or bark; become destructive; try to hide or even run away; become more scared the longer the noise goes on; and remain afraid long after the noise has stopped.
There are various ways to help minimise the trauma. Licensed Veterinary Herbal Medicines are ideal for noise phobias and herbal tablets of Scullcap and Valerian given at the recommended daily dose throughout any period, when fireworks or thunderstorms are expected, will result in a generally calmer and less traumatised animal. The tablets relieve anxiety, nervousness and excitability and can be given one week before firework night and continued until the firework season has stopped. However, they should not be given to pregnant or lactating females, who can safely be given Valerian drops. Dogs and cats need 1 tablet for every 5kg they weigh. We recommend the dose is split morning and night. So if your pet weighs 10kg, they will need 2 tablets – 1 is given in the morning and 1 at night. You can give double this amount when the fireworks are at their worst, giving the second dose 2 hours before dusk and this double dose can be given for as long as it is necessary in perfect safety.
For those times when noises are particularly bad, or there is a sudden thunderstorm, you can also give organic Valerian drops, which will quickly calm and relax without sedation. This treatment regime is widely used and recommended by veterinary practices to help animals through difficult situations. The drops act in around 30 minutes, when given by mouth. Cats will even lick it off their paw and a few drops placed on bedding will also help. Valerian is ideal for dogs too. This supplement can be given in addition to the tablets for especially scary moments, even if you are already using the higher dosage of tablets.
For cats: a few drops on bedding and a further ¼ teaspoonful by mouth or in food, when fireworks are severe.
For dogs: by mouth or in food – small dogs ¼ teaspoon; medium dogs ½ teaspoon; large dogs 1 teaspoon; giant breeds 1½ teaspoons.
So now you can help your pet relax naturally!
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