The month of December is getting closer and it is time to start thinking about how you can help your pet survive all the fireworks without getting too afraid. Your pet’s vet can, of course, prescribe sedatives to the animal but this medication always involves risks and/or side effects. It is much better if you can help your pet with a safe aid. There are several products available that can help your animal get through the holidays properly.
Royal Canin Calm Diet
This food, specially developed for animals that experience long-term or temporary stress and/or fear, contains, among others, Alpha-casozepine, L-tryptophan and Omega fatty acids, has a calming effect and ensures a more positive state of mind. You should start the Calm diet at least three weeks before New Year's Eve for optimal results. The Calm diet is available for dogs and cats.
Adaptil (formerly DAP) / Feliway
Adaptil (dog) and Feliway (cat) products contain a synthetic copy of native pheromones that animals release to other animals/humans and their environment to mark them as safe. It gives the animal a safe and familiar feeling and thus reduces the fear and shock response. For dogs, there is an Adaptil collar and an Adaptil vaporizer, which can be plugged into the socket. Feliway spray and a Feliway vaporizer are available for cats.
Adaptil tablets contain a combination of natural amino acids, GABA and vitamin B complex. The tasty tablets work within 2 hours of ingestion and provide temporary relaxation in stressful situations such as fireworks, travel or thunderstorms and reduce anxiety.
Zylkene is a natural food supplement that contains Alpha-casozepine extracted from milk protein. It has a calming effect and reduces the fear response in pets. It is hypoallergenic, lactose-free, preservative-free and can be safely combined with other medications. The use of Zylkene can be started a few days in advance but in very anxious animals starting a little earlier than that is highly recommended. This product is available both for dogs and cats.
The Thundershirt is a piece of dog clothing that provides comfortable and constant pressure around the chest to help the dog relax and focus. This constant pressure has a strong calming effect on most dogs. Compare it with, for example, swaddling babies. Many veterinarians and dog trainers in America recommend the Thundershirt to reduce anxiety in dogs.
Of course, it would be much better if you did not have to use any products to help your pet get through New Year's Eve without fear. There are a lot of techniques and training methods you can use to slowly acclimate your pets to loud noises and fireworks and teach them not to be afraid. Keep in mind, however, that you should start training well in advance of the holidays.
If the above products and our tips do not work, medication is still an option. In previous years we were always dependent on human medicines (tranquilizers), in the form of tablets. However, a new product has been available since 2016, specially developed for animals. The administration is very simple. It is a cannula with gel, a dose of which is injected onto the inside of the dog’s cheek. The agent is absorbed through the cheek mucosa. The maximum effect is achieved after 15-60 minutes. It inhibits anxiety and stress related to loud noises. Sedative medications are available only by prescription through the veterinary clinic.