Calming Aids for Cats and Dogs
Prescription sedative tablets are available from veterinary surgeons for animals under their care. In our experience, however, sedation with tablets is sometimes unreliable and not always effective. This is particularly so in cats, but can be a problem with dogs as well. Furthermore, there is a risk of the pet reacting badly to the sedative and becoming uncontrollably excited. There are also risks of other side effects, which, although luckily rare, could be serious.
Many cats respond well to a good pinch of catnip in their bed or carrier. Catnip is a herb that can have a mildy euphoric effect in cats. We stock sachets of catnip, but it is fairly widely available. It is risk free.
There is a natural herbal remedy capsule taken by mouth that we can supply. It works very well in most dogs and cats in our experience. It is also entirely safe to use, with no risk of side effects. Please contact one of our vets or nurses for information.
Rescue Remedy also seems to work well to calm many dogs and cats. It also has no risk of side effects. It is available from health food shops and pharmacies.
Rescue Remedy "Recipe"
With your Rescue Remedy, buy a 30ml mixer bottle. Fill the mixer bottle with still bottled water. Add four drops of Rescue Remedy to create a dilute solution.
You then need to get a minimum of four doses into your pet daily. One dose consists of four drops of the solution. The doses do not have to be equally spaced, so you could give, for example, two doses 20 minutes apart in the morning and the same in the evening. It is ideal to give the doses directly by mouth, but they can be rubbed into the inner ear flaps. Rescue Remedy spray is also available and can be used on the ears instead of the water solution. One squirt on each ear flap counts as a single dose. It is worth putting a dose in each meal and a dose in the drinking water.
We recommend starting this several days before you plan to travel or expect a stressful period for your pet (like fireworks or a visit to the vet for a health check and booster!). If you are travelling or need to get a frightened pet to the vet, try to give a few more doses a day for the last couple of days. On the day itself, give as many doses as you can before departure.