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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 – MK Vet Group’s tips for this season

Milton Keynes Veterinary Group
November 2020 is likely to be a very different Fireworks night. With a lack of larger public displays, we expect there will be a big increase in smaller home events. Therefore it is potentially even more important than ever to make sure you prepare your pet for this fireworks period.

We appreciate this time of year can be a stressful time for pets as well as their owners, with over 40% of dogs and a high population of cats in the UK suffering from a fear of fireworks.

Tips and ideas from MK Vet Group to help your pets during this time:
  • Keep your pet indoors prior to when the fireworks are expected to begin. Remember to secure the cat flap if you have one
  • Keep all doors and windows securely closed
  • Make sure curtains are also pulled to muffle sound and block the light from the fireworks
  • Keep internal doors open so your pets don’t feel enclosed or trapped
  • Turn on the TV, radio or play music as background noise, it is a good idea to have this on in advance to the fireworks beginning
  • Create a safe place for your pet to go when they feel stressed, this could be their bed or you can create a den
  • Walk your dog earlier in the day to avoid the times when fireworks are expected to be started, and keep them on their lead at all times
  • Make sure our small mammals are lock up in their hutches and cover their hutch over with a blanket to muffle noise
  • Provide your cat with a litter tray if they are used to toileting outside
  • Feed your pet their usual meal before the fireworks are expected to begin
  • Make sure that your pet is wearing a ID tag and that their microchip details are up to date in case they do manage to escape
  • It is important to avoid any form of punishment if your pet reacts to fireworks, this can lead to further anxiety
  • Comforting your pet when they are scared is an area of controversy. Definitely try to be at home on days around fireworks night when there is likely to be the highest number of displays. It is advised that you don’t pay too much attention or ‘fuss’ over your pet when they are worried, as this can reinforce the fearful behaviour. For some individuals, it may help to hold them firmly and lean into them, while using long, firm massaging strokes rather than normal petting
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