Fido and Fireworks don’t mix!

posted on June 28, 2018 by Dr. Jamie Hartman

It’s the 4th of July again, and that means increased risks for our pets.  According to the ASPCA, nearly 1 in 5 pets go missing after being scared by loud noises such as fireworks.  PetAmberAlert.com notes that 30% more pets become lost between July 4-6th than any other time of the year.  Here are some tips to make the celebrations safe for everyone!

  1. Travel safely:  If you are taking a road trip with your pet, get your pet used to carrier/crates, and seat belts/harnesses in advance.  Do not leave your pet alone in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked.
  2. Stay cool:  Dogs and cats can’t sweat, but panting can cause them to get dehydrated.  Pets can get overheated quicker, so make sure there is access to plenty of fresh water and shade.  Check asphalt with your hand before going for walks to ensure it’s not too hot, and take walks near dawn/dusk to avoid mid day heat.
  3. Avoid human foods:  Barbecues and parties will often present many tempting foods to your pet.  Some human foods are not safe for consumption-alcohol, chocolate, onion, garlic, grapes, raisins, and the sugar substitute xylitol are all toxic to pets.  Some foods can cause inflammation of the GI tract and pancreas, especially fatty foods.  Other foods can pose a GI obstruction risk-fruit pits and corn cobs are two more notable examples.
  4. Keep windows secured:  Often during the summer months we have our windows open to let in the fresh air.  Make sure screens are in place and secured to avoid falls and escapes.
  5. Check harnesses, leashes, and collars:  Longer daylight hours and warmer weather often means longer walks and more outside time.  Make sure collars and harnesses fit to prevent escape.  Make sure ID tags and microchip information are current.
  6. Keep your pets at home:  Most pets get overwhelmed at parties and firework shows, so despite how well behaved they are or how much they love people, safe at home may be the best place for them during the festivities.
  7. If you’re hosting the party, keep an eye on exits.  With multiple people going in and out, pets can get lost in the chaos.  Think about putting pets in crates or a separate room, as they will keep them safely confined as well as give them a quiet place to feel safe.  Pet sitters or boarding facilities are another option.

Overall we hope you and your pet have a safe and happy 4th of July!

Posted in: Uncategorized

Travel, and Fireworks, and Storms, Oh My!

posted on June 04, 2012 by Dr. Jamie Hartman

Summer may mean warmth, sunshine, and spending more time outdoors, but it can also bring more things that can cause anxiety in our pets. Things such as car rides or airplane flights for family vacations, fireworks, or thunderstorms may all cause our pet to become stressed.

Signs of anxiety can include:

  • Hiding
  • Drooling
  • Shaking
  • Barking, whining, howling or other vocalizations
  • Licking excessively
  • Urinating or defecating inappropriately
  • Scratching/digging, chewing, or other destructive behavior

Pets can pick up on our anxiety as well, so even if you aren’t currently traveling, if you are stressing over travel plans, your pet may be more anxious. Also, pets can sense things such as change in atmospheric pressure and may know a storm is coming long before you do!  Lastly, our pet’s sense of hearing is much better than ours, so they may notice fireworks or thunder that we just cannot hear.

If your pet has anxiety in any of these situations, we can help. There is a medication we are using in dogs to help with situational anxiety. Also, if your pet is an overall anxious animal, there are medications we can use on a daily basis to help alleviate their anxiety. Calls us today to set up an appointment to discuss if this is right for your pet and your situation. Lastly, we may refer you to meet with Linda Brodzik, our behavioralist, to discuss anxiety or destructive behaviors more in depth after a consult with us. Together we can come up with a treatment plan that works well for you and your pet.

Posted in: Behaviors