Pet owners may be unintentionally fuelling their pets’ noise phobiasahead of the fireworks season, according to research by CEVA AnimalHealth.

The firm’s research1 has suggested that 77 per cent of clients have never taken action to address their pets’ noise phobias as the fireworks’ season is only an annual occurrence.

This is despite evidence that noise phobias can affect pets all year round and tend to become worse over time. Moreover, up to 95 per cent may even be fuelling firework fears by reacting inappropriately, such as petting an anxious pet during firework exposure rather than making an effort to ignore the fireworks and thereby reassuring the animal by behaving normally.

In addition, the research revealed that if owners did seek advice from their vets for noise phobias, it was at the last minute, as it is estimated that 46 per cent of clients leave it until the day before the fireworks are due to start before seeking help.

“Owners are not doing enough to reduce their pets’ firework fears and prevent noise phobias from developing,” says Lucy Brett, product manager at CEVA Animal Health. “Taking early, proactive action within the practice is the best way to help dogs with pre-existing firework phobias, as well as those with mild fears which, if left untreated, may develop into more serious noise phobias.”

CEVA Animal Health and Sound Therapy 4 Pets have once more joined forces with the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC), Feline Advisory Bureau (FAB) and PDSA to launch a ‘Remember, remember your pets this November’ campaign to provide owners with advice on how to look after their pets during the firework season and the precautions they should take to help them cope with their fear of fireworks.

The initiative features a wide range of advice including how to use synthetic copies of natural pheromones, DAP and Feliway, to help comfort and reassure fearful pets, creating a comforting den for dogs to retreat to during firework exposure and treating noise phobias using behavioural therapy with the Sounds Scary desensitisation CD (which is the only behavioural therapy product for noise phobias supported by the RSPCA).

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1. Survey of 104 veterinary professionals, including vets, vet nurses and receptionists, in July and August 2009.

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