Fireworks are beautiful when they color the skies at New Year’s Eve. If, for human beings the sound of bombs e rockets can disturb, imagine for pets, whose ears are four times more sensible. It does not matter itf the fires are big or small, it is enough the first one explode and the pets become agitated and afraid.
Hamlet, a big six years old golden retriever, weights 52 kilos, but is afraid as a little chiuhuahua or a bichon frisé. “Some people say I should put cotton tufts in his ears, but Hamlet becomes so agitated that the cotton falls down,” says his owner, the writer Rosangela Petta. “When I know there will have rockets, I hug him, trying to calm him. Even son, he cries, there is no way,” she says. The same with 13 years old labrador Bóris, says journalist Patrícia Sousa, fom São Paulo. “Bóris becomes very
scared. Once, he even put down my working table,” she comments.
No tricks: pets of all races (inclusive the famous mongrel dogs) don’t like noises. Teacher Márcia Andry adopted two dogs at São Roque, SP: Max, eight years old, and Bono, six years old. They feel lost at festivities time. “When they hear the fireworks, they scratch the doors, cry and tremble,” she says. “I had a german shepherd that was juts like them. She jumped at the washing machine, got into the tank and over car’s hood,” she remembers.
The Press Adviser Cristina Belluco, from Campinas, SP, tells that double Lala and Hum, rodhesian breed, used to go to the neighbor yard and kill chickens and cock when they heard fireworks. “They teared my couches, broke frames and the table glass on the veranda table,” she tells. “Once, I arrived from a New Year’s trip and found my kitchen and service area flooded. Because of New Year’s noise, they pushed the washing machine, broke the water hose and provoked a flood. Then, I made a safe area only for them.”
THERE IS A SOLUTION
According to vet Priscila Brabec, from São Paulo, the first step is to create a place where the pet feels really safe. If it is impossible to muffle all the exterior noise, she suggests to use odours that calm pet. One of these is Adaptil, a difusor that releases a synthetic odour similar to the mother-dog. “During weaning, the female dog produces an odour that gives comfort and safety to puppies. So, this difusor helps in the adaptation of pets when they are in difficult situations,” explains the specialist. “The difusor must be installed where the pet will stay during the fireworks.”
Another tip is that owners must know the secret places of their pets and keep these places safe. In other words, the windows must be closed (mostly in flats) and the glass doors also because pets can try to go trough them. It’s good to take off
shelves, bottles, pots and decoration objects that may be broken if your pet is agitated.
Take care also with walls, doors and gates that can harm pet in a flight tentative. And don’t prenda the dog with collars that can provoke a hanging; if the furry wants do hide under bed or hidden in the bathroom check if there are barbs or nails that can harm him but do not oblige him to get out.
Renato Zanetti, a zootechnic from São Paulo specialized in animal behraviour, says that hug, rubber put your friend on your lap only is good if he comes spontaneously; if no, he can turn yet more nervous. The specialist suggests to leave different snaps or toys to distract him. “A tv not too loud and a fan also can reduce the perception of pet to fireworks,” says. Some dog trainers suggest to buy special costumes made just for these occasions. One of the models most known on sale is Thundershit; made of cotton and elastic fiber, it slightly press the dog’s body. The fabricante tests researches with more than a thousand pets that wore the “shirt” during event that normally cause panic (as fireworks and thunders) proved that more than 80% of dogs benefit of its use. The “shirt” medium price, available to all size pets is R$ 168,00 (www.bitcao.com.br).
Another alternative for owners is treatment for desensitization of noises, they work at medium and large time. The method uses many sounds prerecorded (pet shops sale theses CDs) starting with very low grades that gradually increases, depending on a professional guide, who can suggest rewards like snaps to reinforce a positive association. But, if nothing works, the vet must be heard. In some cases, a light tranquilizer can reduce pet suffering.But do not give substances on your own, the posology changes from one pet to another and must be respected. Our Lady of Canine Ears thanks!