With Halloween and firework season fast approaching and New Year coming up fast behind, now is the time for dog owners to start preparing themselves and their dogs for the parties, bangs and flashes. There is already plenty of good information available about the behavioural and environmental management and rehabilitation of dogs* around fireworks, and cats**, so this is not covered again here. This blog is divided into 4 parts.
In the first article, we looked at how the ‘fear system’ works as a normal, adaptive neurophysiological network essential for the survival of an organism. In this article, we explore the neuropathology of how the ‘fear system’ goes wrong and the serious consequences this has on the animal’s welfare when it does.
In the first and second article of this series, we looked at how the normal ‘fear system’ works and how this emotional system can become a long-standing, maladaptive anxiety and depression disorder. In this third article of the series, we take an evidence-based approach to selecting and using prescription pharmaceuticals as part of a well-constructed behavioural therapy plan for dogs whose lives have been ruined by fireworks.
In Part 3 of this article, we presented an evidence-based summary of how and why psychoactive prescription medicines can – and in some dogs – should be used to manage fear and anxiety around fireworks. We described fear as an experience generated in the brain, so any effective therapy, regardless of what it is and how it is delivered, MUST ultimately interact with specific receptors in the brain that modulate the fear circuits in some way.
In this fourth and final part of this series on fear and fireworks in pets, we take a broad look at products that are marketed as ‘alternative remedies’, or ‘therapies’for managing fear in pets.
This may seem a very obvious question, but actually it is not. This article explores some of the complexities of objectively defining what ‘animal suffering’ is. In this article, for conciseness, the term ‘human’ is used to identify human animals and the term ‘animal’ is used to identify non-human animals. In addition, the terms ‘she’ and ‘he’ are used, rather than ‘it’, because companion animals have names and therefore a gender.
“It is disturbing indeed that changes of such magnitude can be proposed by a Government in a far-away country and instigated by a global organisation we have never heard of on our behalf and without our consent…”
PHOTO Courtesy of Companion Care Eastbourne