When it Rains Cats & Dogs…

Thunderstorms can be a huge source of anxiety for pets.  Loud booms from nowhere, gusting winds, even changes in the barometric pressure can set even the most laid-back dog on edge.  Here are some things you can do to decrease the stress of storms on your animal:

  • Create a “safe” spot for your pet. A readily accessible area where doors and windows can be closed to limit exposure to stimuli is ideal. A source of white noise often can help lessen anxiety as well.  An interior bathroom with the ventilation fan running is often a good solution.
  • Distract!  Make thunderstorms a fun time by engaging in play or practicing your obedience training.
  • Pharmacological intervention may be necessary. For very nervous pets anti-anxiety medications or sedatives may need to be prescribed by your vet. For milder cases something like a pheromone collar or outlet plug-in may do the trick.
  • Behavioral therapy. Your vet can help you through some exercises to acclimate your pet to storms, such as gradually introducing the sound of thunder in a positive environment.  In extreme cases, consultation with a veterinary behaviorist may be necessary.

So have no fear!  You are now prepared whatever the weather may be!

 

Fleas and Ticks, Oh My!

Lions and tigers and bears aren’t the scariest things lurking outdoors for your pets!  Did you know that flea allergies are the number one cause of skin disease in dogs and cats?  And that they can transmit blood parasites and tapeworms?   Have you heard that ticks carry nasty diseases such as Lyme disease?  Have no fear, though!  A little education goes a long way in protecting Fido and Fluffy from these creepy crawly parasites.  For instance, while fleas and ticks are most common during the warmer months of the year, they are a risk throughout.  Also, did you realize that even dogs and cats that stay indoors can be a breeding ground for fleas?  Keeping your pet on year-round preventative can stop an infestation before it starts.  There are a variety of products on the market to protect your pet, which can make it difficult to know which to use.  Your veterinarian can help you to sort through the vast options and select the best product to meet your individual needs.  So follow the yellow brick road to see the wizard, er, your veterinarian to get your pet protected today!