FIREWORK PHOBIA – NO FEAR!
Up to 4 million dogs and numerous cats are likely to take fright this fireworks night. Fear and phobia in pets related to fireworks is common and affected animals can show a range of behaviours: shaking, hiding or running away and destructive impulses.
According to canine behaviourists, up to 1.6 million dogs suffer from noise phobias so severe that they need professional help. But despite the plethora of new generation anti-anxiety medicines available for pets and their humans, more vets and animal health experts are turning to plant based remedies. Last year Dorwest Herbs sold 1.5 million doses of their veterinary licensed Scullcap and Valerian Tablets and Valerian Compound over the firework period alone.
“Owners were pleased we were able to offer alternatives to sedatives and other more expensive treatments,” says vet Charles Bagnall BVSc MRCVS of the Orwell Veterinary Group, “The feedback has been very positive.”
Mary Boughton MBE is Quality Director at Dorwest Herbs and the UK’s leading specialist in the formulation of veterinary herbal medicines, “We have always championed the idea that simply sedating a pet that is afraid, increases the level of fear because the animal has its ability to escape from that frightening event, removed. The ultimate aim is to have a relaxed pet that remains awake and aware of what is going on but is not disturbed by it. Mood altering tranquilisers can also be used to treat phobias but pet owners view their pet as a member of the family and are reluctant to administer these types of medications.”
Dorwest Herbs has issued some tips to help terrified terriers and trembling tabbies:
- Plan in advance – ideally Scullcap and Valerian Tablets should be given one week before firework night and continued for as long as needed, or, if the pet is badly affected, as early as 3 weeks before.
- Can’t give your cat tablets? Valerian Compound can be put in food, on the paw to be licked off and even sprinkled on bedding.
- Create a quiet hideaway
- Stay calm, don’t reinforce your pet’s fear
- Don’t ignore the problem – phobias will get worse year on year without treatment
For further information or to obtain a free leaflet pet owners should contact their veterinary surgeon, pet retailer or Dorwest Herbs: www.dorwest.com or call 01308 897272.
I wonder if Mary could explain how Scullcap and Valerian Tablets work? They are of course drugs that I assume effect the chemistry in the brain to bring about changes to help reduce anxiety.