Firework phobias are extremely common in dogs, and this time of year is miserable for many of them.
What Does Firework Phobia Mean?
It’s easy to dismiss the problem if you’ve never had a dog with firework phobia, but for those of us who have, it’s a big problem. On hearing fireworks, the affected dog becomes increasingly agitated, starts pacing about, hyperventilating, drooling, and hiding away. They may soil themselves, and start vocalising. It really is very distressing both for the dog, and their human companions.
How Do We Treat Firework Phobia?
The only treatment I have personally found to make a difference is to sedate the dog with a tranquillizer. This is a drug that we use as part of our routine anaesthetic regime. I’ve always been uncomfortable using this drug for fireworks, the reason being that while it does prevent the dog from responding to the noises, they do still hear them and are still frightened by them, and over time the problem can get gradually worse. It wouldn’t be so bad if it was just one day a year, but often we have to sedate these dogs day after day after day, and it’s just not right to have to be doing that.
A New Treatment
Over the past few years I’ve seen many alternative treatments purported to help, from food supplements, to pheromones and compression shirts, and while they may help some dogs, I’ve had little success with them personally.
So when I heard about a new treatment for firework phobias, I was immediately sceptical. However, this one is different.
The product is called Sileo, and is a drug that works by reducing anxiety. It’s very fast acting, and can be given after the noise of fireworks starts if necessary. The manufacturers claim that one dose will last about two hours, and this can be repeated then if necessary. Experience of use suggests that in many dogs, it lasts much longer than this.
The product is a paste that is in very childproof packaging (think Krypton Factor Challenge level difficulty for those of us old enough to remember!), and the manufacturers have made this video showing how to use it:
So if your dog is affected by fireworks, please don’t let them suffer. Give us a call and we can arrange some treatment.