So with the recent storm this week here in Perth or with Australia Day tomorrow, 26th January, which of course means City of Perth’s infamous Australia Day Skyworks, I thought it would be good to share some tips and tricks about how to manage our little furry friends who might be storm-phobic or noise-phobic, particularly for those heading out to see the fireworks display like myself who want to make sure the kids are okay .
For those that don’t know, the City of Perth has the largest Australia Day celebration in the country! Pop along from 3pm to enjoy the free events at Lotterywest Entertainment Zone at Langley Park and the Birak Concert at the Supreme Court Gardens. Then secure your spot on the foreshore to watch the spectacular fireworks display at 8pm. But first, here’s how to be sure to your little furry friends are safely tucked up at home.
The first tip is super simple but often forgotten. Just close the curtains or blinds. This helps minimise the impact that the flashing has on our pets. For an even further effect, you can also turn on the lights around the house.
There can also be a lot of loud bangs from the fireworks going off. So, turn on the radio or put on a movie. This will help drown out the noise of the fireworks. And if you have the TV on, the moving light from the TV will also help minimise the impact of any flashes that sneak in through the cracks in the curtains or blinds. Of course, I’ll be popping on Tigerlily’s favourite film, Peter Pan… Oliver did get Oliver and Company last year.
Particularly for cats, make sure that they have little hidey-holes around the house. This can be as simple as a cardboard box, clearing space under the bed or having for-purpose hidey holes for them. Yes, when they are using them, it may mean that they are stressed, however giving them the freedom to exhibit such behaviours can also be a comfort to them.
There are also some over the counter diffusers and nutritional supplements for anxious pets. For example, Feliway air diffusers and collars work great for stressed cats and available from most vets and pet stores. Feliway contains a pheromone that cats will normally excrete when they are calm and is a means to communicate this to other cats. There are also dog appeasing pheromones (DAP) which has a similar effect on dogs and is also available in collars and air diffusers under the trade name ADAPTIL. Some dogs with long term anxiety issues also benefit from Tryptophan supplementation, which is an amino acid that acts as a precursor to Serotonin, the Happiness Hormone.
And last but not least, if you know your pet gets really anxious with all the commotion, pay a visit to your local vet or pop into one of my fellow emergency vets on the night. For really stressed animals, there are medications that we can give to help relieve their anxiety. Different drugs have different side effects though, so we will always need to assess your pet first to make sure we prescribe the safest medication. This is why none are over-the-counter medications.
But hopefully you now have your furbaby settled in for the night, feel free to head out, relax and enjoy the show!