The season of fireworks is upon us. This can be a stressful time for many dogs. For those who are anxious and scared by the excessive noise and explosions, we may prescribe anti-anxiety medications and/or tranquilizers.
When starting any new medication of this type, we recommend that you do a "trial run" before it is needed so you can see how your animal reacts to the new sedative or anti-anxiety medication. If your dog needs medications this time of year, one of the key components to successful stress prevention for your pet is to start dosing well before there is any stimulus that causes fear and anxiety. We recommend that you start using sedatives or anti-anxiety medication at 1/2 dosing at least 1-2 days before you expect fireworks to start. On the day you expect fireworks noise in your neighborhood, you should start giving the full dose early in the day, well before the noise begins.
If you are happy with medication you have used in the past, we encourage you to put in your order for those medications early so that you have it on hand. Please note that your pet must be current on their Wellness Exam for the clinic to dispense medication. If you would like to try other medications and your pet is current on their Wellness Exam, please call us and we can discuss options.
We historically have prescribed sedatives like acepromazine for many dogs. This medication is often effective but it does not specifically relieve stress. In the past few years, we have prescribed trazodone more commonly because it is an anti-anxiety and a sedative. We have also started carrying Sileo, which is approved for noise aversion and does not produce as much sedation. It is most appropriate for patients where previous medications have not been effective.
We also carry a natural supplement derived from milk which is lactose free, and can be used in addition to medication or as a stand-alone product for mildly stressful situations. The product is called Zylkene and is given once a day. It is available in 14 day packets or 30-day bottles. It is an over the counter product so does not need to be prescribed by the veterinarian. It does carry a 100% money back guarantee. If after 7 days of continuous use, you do not see any calming benefits, return the unused portion to the clinic and we will issue you a full refund for the product.
We want to help you and your pet have as stress-free and enjoyable July 4th holiday as possible. Please feel free to call with any questions or requests.
Thank you for allowing us to care for your furry family.
Diane Boudreau, Client Services.
Timothy R Kraabel, DVM, DABVP (Canine/Feline Practice)
Vice President American Board of Veterinary Practitioners