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Archive for October, 2020

Pet Travel Guidelines for the New Year – 2021

Milton Keynes Veterinary Group
We appreciate there is lots of uncertainty around Brexit, as well as general travel with the current restrictions in place. If you are considering taking your pet abroad next year if and when these restrictions are lifted, you may need to consider additional requirements well in advance of your travel date if there is a change to the current pet travel guidelines.

We hope the application for the UK to be noted as a ‘listed’ country post Brexit is successful, and if this is the case we expect minimal changes regarding travelling to Europe with your pet.

Unfortunately there is no way of knowing at this stage if this application will be accepted and the UK could be categorised as an ‘unlisted’ country. When a country is noted as ‘unlisted’, there are additional requirements that will need to be completed a minimum of four months prior to travel.

This process will include:
  • Having your pet microchipped
  • A rabies vaccination (this can be started from twelve weeks of age)
  • A blood sample will be required thirty days after having the rabies vaccination
  • The sample will be sent to an EU- approved blood laboratory for testing
  • Once the results of the blood sample are received, you will be informed by your vet
  • Your pet will be required to wait three months from a successful blood sample before being able to travel
  • An Animal Health Certificate will be required for travel, signed by an Official Veterinarian no more than ten days prior to your travel departure date
The Animal Health Certificate will provide onward travel within the UK for four months after the date of issue, and re-entry to Great Britain for four months after the date of issue.

If you have any questions regarding travelling with your pet in 2021, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01908 397777 or click here to visit the government website
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Still be prepared for Fireworks 2020 – Signs of Anxiety

Milton Keynes Veterinary Group
As mentioned in our last post, this year is likely to be very different with respect to firework displays, with potentially an increase in smaller household displays.

Each individual pet will respond differently to fireworks, some may show just one or any combination of the following signs:
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Scratching at the door to get out of the room
  • Salivating
  • Hiding away
  • Vocalising – howling, barking, whining
  • Excessive or abnormal attention seeking
  • Loss of bodily control – urine/faeces
  • Unwillingness to eat
  • Hiding behind or on top of furniture
  • Refusing to eat
Visit our blog to find tips on helping your pet over this period
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Still be prepared for Fireworks 2020 – Tips on creating a safe space

Milton Keynes Veterinary Group
As mentioned in our previous posts, this year is likely to be very different with respect to firework displays, with potentially an increase in smaller household displays.

It is still important we are prepared for our pets. It can be a good idea to create a den a a couple of weeks before fireworks season so that they can start to recognise this space as their safe place. By taking your pet to the den and rewarding them with treats or toys you can quickly reinforce positive association.
  • Choose a quiet area within your house, or even a place your pet already feels safe
  • Using a crate is a great idea for dogs, which can easily be covered over with blankets to help reduce light and sound from the fireworks
  • For cats, a suitable den may be in the form of a cat igloo bed as these are soft and cosy, and will also help muffle the sound of the fireworks. Cats also like cardboard boxes as an alternative – pop a blanket inside to create a cosy place for them
  • You can place your pet’s bed or blanket, or even an item of your clothing in the den to provide a familiar smell
  • Provide them with some of their favourite toys or comforts to make them feel safe
  • Food puzzles are also a good idea to distract them from the noise of the fireworks such as a Kong for dogs, or kibble puzzle for cats
  • Always make sure they have access to water
  • The den should be accessible to your pet at all times
  • Consider installing a pheromone diffuser close to the area where the den is – this will need installing at least a week before
  • It is important not to disturb your pet whilst they are in the den, as this can contribute to their stress
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Still be prepared for Fireworks 2020 – Pheromones, Medications and Aids

Milton Keynes Veterinary Group
As mentioned in our previous posts, this year is likely to be very different with respect to firework displays, with potentially an increase in smaller household displays.

Various medications are available to reduce our pet’s anxieties. These products will help reduce anxiety as a short term help but will not have any lasting effect, so are best used alongside a behavioural modification plan, such as desensitisation and counter conditioning (visit our blog to read these previous posts). Both these need to be started at least a couple of weeks in advance of the fireworks period. A key point to remember is not to be scared of medicating your pets, by not helping them at this time we may be simply prolonging their suffering and anxiety.

The most common therapy for anxiety of fireworks is Pheromone treatments. These are available for both dogs and cats in different forms such as a plug in, collar, tablet and spray. This may not help every individual but can help pets with mild phobias.

Another anxiety relieving device that is available is a tight fitting wrap called an Anxiety wrap, this aims to apply constant pressure to help relax muscles. Studies show these may be effective for some individuals but may not be suitable for all.

If you have any concerns regarding your pet’s anxiety over this period, please contact our team on 01908 397777 to discuss your pet’s needs.
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Still be prepared for Fireworks 2020 – Counterconditioning to sounds

Milton Keynes Veterinary Group
As mentioned in our previous posts, this year is likely to be very different with respect to firework displays, with potentially an increase in smaller household displays.

Counterconditioning is the second stage to correcting a behavioural response, click here to read our guidance on the first step of this process “Desensitisation”.

This second stage is about providing positive association to sounds your pet may be sensitive to.

This can be done by providing rewards whilst playing the sounds your pet is sensitive to, e.g. fireworks, in order to start reinforcing positive association with these sounds. As the volume is gradually increased, at each sound adjustment, make sure your pet settled and then provide a reward. Make sure you use rewards that your pet really enjoys!

Both the desensitisation and counter conditioning stages of behavioural correction require time to counteract these behaviours.

If you have any concerns regarding your pet’s anxiety over this period, please contact our team on 01908 397777 to discuss your pet’s needs.
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