Anyone living in the Midwest cherishes the arrival of Spring and ultimately, SUMMER! For our pets, this season of fun, sun, water, grilling and excursions isn’t always fun. The next several posts will address some of these potential problems and offer some remedies.
#1 on the list of questions we are asked is about calming during: road trips, family gatherings, thunderstorms and fireworks. All of these events can create a ton of stress/anxiety and downright fear in many dogs and cats. A multi-pronged approach is best.
It is critical to plan ahead, to keep your pet calm. If you know a storm is coming, act early, if you are going on a road trip, start your action plan a few days in advance. If your dog is terrorized by fireworks, you can start planning now as the celebration seems to start earlier every year!
Most of us want to take our pets with us when we travel. De sensitizing an aversion to the car can be accomplished with patient and positive, SHORT trips, first not moving then going around the block, then 2 blocks and so on. Use of calming herbs etc are also suggested and effective. Most cats and dogs welcome a structure(crate) to huddle in, in a moving vehicle. It provides them with a “cave” where they feel safe. It also is a practical move in case you are forced two swerve, break or otherwise maneuver the car in a way that can toss your pet around and injure them and add to their fear.
Use a combination of : Aromatherapy, Thundershirt, calming herbs, well ahead of the event/trip to keep your dog/cat in a calm state. Once they are stressed and anxious , it is harder to bring them back down to calm. The success we have had with above mentioned strategy is outstanding.You aren’t seeking a sedated, tranquilized pet, that is for your Veterinarian to discuss with you. Some pets do indeed need prescription drugs to keep the calm and safe. Your goal is a pet relaxed enough to find a quiet spot and go to sleep or at least tolerate the mayhem. Years of working at a veterinary hospital saw many cases of dogs leaping out of windows, through screens and into the night, frightened enough to “flee”and sometimes injure themselves getting away. Cats will hide so successfully that you may not be able to find them in your own home! That is OK. If your pet is comfortable under the bed, in the shower or closet during these stressful times, accommodate them. Animals have a keen sense of where to find warmth, cool, and quiet when they need it. And lastly, don’t introduce or force your pet into situations they aren’t qualified for. If they aren’t super social, respect that, if they prefer to go to their quiet place when you have a house full, allow them to do so. Often times this provides enough escape,relief, for a pet who is stressed.
We stock several types and brands of edible, calming herbal products,aromatherapy and the Thundershirt. Now is the time to experiment with these products so you can see their effects and tweak things as needed well in advance of the next storm, fireworks display, cook out or great American family road trip!
Follow these links for info on the products listed above.