The Critter's Chronicle Blog

5/15/2018 4:01:14 PM | Erin Mills, RVT

by Danielle Boock, RVT
Every cat owner has said this phrase at some point.  Cats like to scratch and sometimes we feel powerless to do anything about it.  We have compiled some information and techniques on how to get Fluffy to scratch appropriate places and keep you from wanting to pull your hair out.

Scratching Post 101

Everybody knows that cats LOVE to scratch, and even after a declaw cats will still perform the scratching behavior.  What drives our kitties to do this?  The scratch-marks themselves serve as a visual territorial marker letting other animals know, “hey, this is my spot”.  Cats also have scent glands in their paws that allow them to deposit their smell along with the visual marks.  If that’s the case, why does my cat keep scratching after their claws have been removed?  Take note of Fluffy’s body position next time they use their scratcher.  They will latch onto their scratcher and pull their shoulders back.  This motion is providing a stretch for kitty’s arms and back muscles similar to when we stretch our arms over our head after sitting too long at a computer.  Even without their claws cats will still need to mark and stretch in order to be a happy kitty.

My cat scratches everything BUT the scratching post!?!?  Don’t fret friends, let’s look into how to choose and acclimate your feline to scratch where you want them to.

Placement:  First let’s look at where the scratcher is placed.  Is it in a room where your cat actually goes?  Placing it in the basement will not be effective if Fluffy never goes down there.  Scratching is a social behavior and they tend to scratch where others (including us humans) can see it.  Choose a room or two where your feline hangs out.  Also, don’t just shove it into a corner.  This can be difficult for a lot of owners who don’t want their living room looking like a cat playground.  Ask yourself, is having a scratching post sitting out really that bad compared to Fluffy destroying the couch?

Vertical or Horizontal:  Walk into any pet supply store and there are an overwhelming number of scratchers.  Don’t let the sheer volume deter you, Fluffy is going to tell you what kind she prefers.  Take note of where Fluffy is currently scratching.  Are they standing on the floor and scratching up the side of the couch?  Then she prefers a vertical structure.  Does she sit on the couch and dig at the cushions?  Fluffy says she like a horizontal scratching surface.  Maybe she does both, then you will need some of each type.

If you are still unsure which way Fluffy prefers then experiment.  You don’t have to go out and purchase the top of the line $500 cat condo.  Start cheap just to get a baseline.  The $10 cardboard scratcher can tell you so much information about Fluffy’s preferences without having to spend a ton of money.  And like any experiment, you can fail.  I have purchased several types of scratchers I think my cats will like only to have them be ignored.  Don’t give up and don’t be afraid to try something new.  Just as we have preferences for certain furniture our felines do as well.

Now for the challenging part.  How in the world do I get my cat to use the scratcher? 

Step 1: Place the scratcher in the middle of the room and let the cats check it out.  Cats are curious by nature and will want to smell and explore the new thing in the room.  You can encourage this by placing a few of their favorite treat on and around the new scratcher.  If they like to chase the laser or a stick toy, play with kitty and get them to pounce on the toy right on the base or along the horizontal surface.  Offer lots of love and praise.  Pet them and use that cute baby talk voice on them.  They will quickly learn that playing and scratching on this is a good thing.

Step 2:  Once they are comfortable using the scratcher you can move it a little more out of the way.  Again, don’t just stick it in a corner, but somewhere Fluffy can access it easily.

What if Fluffy is being stubborn and still scratching in unwanted places?  Let’s face it cats can be very stubborn if they put their mind to it.  One option is to place the scratcher right next to where kitty is scratching.  Keep some treats ready and when Fluffy uses the correct scratching surface give a treat.  You can also use some catnip rubbed onto the scratcher if your kitty likes the nip.

Another option is a great new produce from Ceva Animal Health called Feliscratch.  Many people are familiar with their Feliway products already and this is a great tool to add to your arsenal.  One pack of Feliscratch comes with a months worth of doses and most cats will not need more than one or two packs.  Using pheromone technology this product mimics the scent cats deposit with their scent glands.  This unique product is placed directly onto your scratcher.  Allow five minutes to dry and you are ready to go.  I purchased a pack to test out on my own girls, even though they do not typically scratch in unwanted places.  The very first application all three of my cats were rubbing, playing, and trying to climb the scratching post.  I was amazed.  This is a wonderful and inexpensive option to try out on Fluffy if she is still scratching on unwanted surfaces.

Scratching furniture is one of the first go to products recommended for cats who are scratching in unwanted places.  Many cats will be happy to be given a place they can scratch and be themselves without making their owners upset.  This will help increase the quality of the bond between human and feline.

Phew, that was a lot of information!!!!  This can feel overwhelming but anyone can do it we promise.  The staff of Animal Health Clinic are always ready and willing to answer your questions or concerns regarding feline health and wellness so don’t be afraid to ask.  We also offer Behavioral Consulting appointments if you are struggling with your feline’s behavior.  Our goal is to keep owners and kitties happy, healthy, and bonded together in a happy coexistence.



4/24/2018 12:47:43 PM | Erin Mills, RVT

by Danielle Boock, RVT
Did you know that by the age of four over 50% of cats have already developed dental disease? (Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine)  We talk about dogs needing their teeth brushed, but what about our feline companions?  One of Animal Health Clinic’s own Vet Tech’s decided to take on the kitty dental challenge to see how her three cats responded to some dental TLC.

  • Greenies Feline SmartBites Hairball Control Chicken Flavor Cat Treats
    • This treat was chosen due to a cat with hairball issues.
    • How did it work at home? This was a very simple method for helping to control tartar on kitty’s teeth.  Simply toss some to the cats and let them do the rest.  Two out of three cats approved and gobbled up the snack, while one sniffed, licked, and turned her nose up at the Greenie.
    • Down Side: Owners must use treats sparingly as they can cause weight gain.  Some cats can be finicky about textures or flavors so this can be a hit or miss when it comes to the cat consuming the treats.
    • Special Note: These treats have been accepted by the Veterinary Oral Health Council for their ability to control tartar.
  •  Oxyfresh Dog & Cat Oral Hygiene Solution
    • This product is a liquid added to your pet’s water bowl.
    • How did it work? This was a quick way to add some dental hygiene to the household.  Oxyfresh is rated for cats and dogs which is perfect for a multi animal home.  After adding fresh water to their bowls one teaspoon of Oxyfresh is poured in.  All three cats were very curious and took their time sniffing the “new” water.  Each cat was observed drinking from the water bowl after the Oxyfresh was added.
    • Down Side: It can be easy to forget to add in the Oxyfresh when changing water.    (An easy solution is to mix it up a gallon at a time in an empty milk.)
  • Dental Diets
    • Both Hill’s Science Diet and Purina carry food designed specifically to help kitty’s teeth. Both brands are veterinary approved and highly recommended by veterinary professionals.  They also have prescription level pet foods available from your veterinarian for pets with chronic dental disease.
    • How did it work? Since my cats are already on Science Diet I chose to test out their over the counter Oral Care food.  All three cats liked the food, but my feline with hairball issues began to cough them up again.  I transitioned them back to the hairball control due to this issue, however I started using the Oral Care as a treat.  A small bag of Oral Care is inexpensive and lasts a long time when used for treats instead of regular feeding.
    • Down Side: Pets that have multiple conditions such as hairballs, weight issues or pets that need a prescription diet for medical reasons may not be able to use a dental formulated pet food as their primary diet.
    • Special Note: This food has been accepted by the Veterinary Oral Health Council for its ability to control plaque and tartar.



3/23/2018 7:51:20 PM | Erin Mills, RVT

March is Poison prevention awareness month!  So here are 7 common household toxins that can be dangerous to pets.

  1. Rodenticides- When it comes to rodent baits it does not matter what form or color it comes in (block, pellet, granule, blue, green, red, tan etc.) they are all highly toxic.  There are 3 important things to remember if you suspect your pet has ingested rodent poison. First, Contact your veterinarian IMMEDIATELY! The toxins in most rodent baits are fast acting. Second, The doctor is going to need the information off the box so BRING IT WITH YOU. The active ingredient, the concentration, and/ or the EPA # all can be found on the box and this information is EXTREMELY important and will determine what type of treatment your pet will need.  (Not all rodenticides are the same)  Exterminators also put most of that information on the invoice, so be sure to check. Lastly, STAY CALM! If you panic so will your pet.

 

2. Antifreeze. Antifreeze is a serious threat to our pets because it is found in almost every home or garage, and can easily be found spilled on streets and/or parking lots.  The most common ingestion is from licking it off the ground or off paws after walking through it.  A lethal dose in cats can be as little as 1 teaspoon and in dogs as little as 1 tablespoon.  Antifreeze is fast acting so time is important.  Contact your veterinarian immediately.  If treated within 4 hours for cats and 8 hours for dog prognosis is fair to good.  If untreated death occurs within 24-48 hours after exposure.

3. Cleaning Products. The main concern with detergents is chemical burns on the skin, the pads of the feet or the GI tract, if ingested.  Drano, Ajax, Windex, bleach and SO many other household cleaners should be watched carefully when in use and stored in a safe place when not in use. The chemicals destroy tissue on contact by acid or alkaline burns.  Even soap and detergents can be mild irritants, especially if ingested.  More deep penetrating tissue damage can occur from stronger alkaline products and severe systemic disease can be caused by pine oils or other oil based products.

4. Heavy Metals. Many heavy metals can be very toxic to your pet and surprisingly accessible. The main source of Zinc toxicity in dogs is by ingesting pennies.  The metal interacts with the dog’s Red Blood Cells (RBC) and can cause weakness, trembling, loss of appetite and the pennies themselves can lead to Gastrointestinal (GI) blockage, that may require surgical intervention.

Lead is also commonly found in toys, drapery weights, fishing weights, even batteries.  Signs of lead poisoning can be vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, depression, blindness tremors, and in-coordination. Onset is usually quick.  Other signs such has anorexia, convulsions, tremors, blindness, anemia, or renal failure have been seen.

5. Liquid Potpourri. Cats are especially attracted to the scents of some heated liquid potpourri.  Cats usually consider it food or at least worth trying, therefore liquid potpourri can cause severe oral, ocular, and dermal burns (mouth, eyes, skin) in cats. This occurs when cats lick the heated liquid in simmer pots or by pawing at or walking through spills and then grooming the heated liquid off themselves or licking the spilled liquid.

6. Ice Melt. Ice melts are irritants to the skin (from walking on it) and mouth (from licking it off their feet) of our pets. If you use ice melts in the winter be diligent in wiping clean your pets feet every time it is out.   Ingestion of ice melt results in excessive drooling, depression, and vomiting.  Since most Ice melts are made of various salts severe electrolyte imbalances can also occur.  If you suspect your pet is reacting to exposure to ice melt contact your veterinarian immediately.

7. Pesticides. Herbicides, insecticides, and fertilizers are generally highly toxic.  If used be sure to keep your pet out of any area that has been treated with a pesticide.  Most pesticides contain heavy metals that cause severe intestinal upset and possible GI obstruction.   Most dangerous pesticides are snail bait (metaldehyde) fly bait (methomyl) and Zinc Phosphide (Mole and gopher bait)  Zinc Phosphide creates a toxic gas that build up inside the animal that is also very toxic to people.  If you find an animal that you suspect was exposed to a Zinc Phosphide pesticide stay away from the animal and call your local Animal Control or ASPCA.



11/21/2017 9:16:34 PM | Erin Mills, RVT

A few commonly used foods at Thanksgiving that can harm your pet include Macadamia nuts, Chocolate, Grapes, Onions

It’s that time of year again… my favorite time of year. Turkey, masked potatoes and gravy, pumpkin pie, and stuffing are only a few of the reasons that I LOVE Thanksgiving. But, as much as I look forward to having friends and family gathered around the table; I know that there are other members of my family (dogs and cats alike) that don’t see it the same as I do. Here are a few tips to help make this Thanksgiving holiday a safe and happy event for everyone.

1. Your pet does NOT need his own plate of your Thanksgiving spread. Even though it is the holidays try and avoid giving your pets any leftovers from your meal as it can cause severe GI upset leading to diarrhea, vomiting and pancreatitis. Turkey bones can also get lodged in a pet’s throat or splinter and cause punctures, tears, or obstructions in the stomach or intestinal tract.

REMEMBER: A warmed can of pet food can go a long way to allowing your dog or cat to celebrate without the risk of illness or surgery.
2. Many human foods are toxic to pets and can cause illnesses even more severe than GI upset. Foods such as Macadamia nuts, raw yeast dough, alcohol, garlic and onions, sage and other spices, chocolate, and especially grapes and raisins can be harmful and even life threatening to your pet. If you suspect your pet may have ingested any toxic foods contact a veterinarian immediately.

3. Keep holiday candles or warmed potpourri out of the reach of your pets. Curious noses and paws could be burned and wagging tails could cause serious fires.

4. Secure your trash cans so that your pets cannot tip them over and get into unwanted items. Items that were used with food such as the string to tie the turkey, aluminum foil, plastic wrap even wax paper can be very appealing to your pet, but very dangerous if ingested.

5. Provide your pet with a quiet refuge away from the hustle and bustle of holiday guests. Too much attention can become upsetting to your pet and can cause them to become more irritated and agitated than usual.

6. Be certain to have your pets current ID tags on at all times. Expected guests or surprise visitors provide opportunities for your pet to escape.

7. Puppy eyes can be almost impossible to ignore and the temptation to offer them a small bite from your plate can sometimes be to hard to resist. Before you sit down to your own meal remove temptation from both your guests and your pets by feed your pets their own regular meal in a gated or play pen area nearby. Your pets will be focused on their own meals and will hopefully be out of the range for begging or stealing.



9/8/2017 5:52:04 PM | Erin Mills, RVT

No matter how many years we get with our pets it’s never long enough. For most of us our pets are an integral part of our family. Which makes it difficult to know when it’s time to say goodbye. It’s important to remember, that even though we may not have much time left with them, we can make sure that time has value.

Evaluating a pet’s quality of life revolves around three main dynamics:

Emotional –It’s important to to watch for any changes to their daily routine or their willingness to receive treatment that may be related to depression. Appropriate mental stimulation through environmental enrichment is important to maintaining a happy and engaged mind.

Social – Engagement with their family and/or other pets is also important. If your pet is isolating himself or avoiding interaction with family members or other pets, tell your veterinarian.

Physical – Evaluating a pet’s physical condition can involve everything from management of a pet’s pain to hygiene, nutrition, mobility and more. Does your pet need regular bathing or a hygienic shave? Maybe they would benefit from the use of non-skid floors, harnesses or slings, or maybe a warm quiet area with comfortable bedding is what they need.

Knowing when it’s time

Whether it’s administers subcutaneous fluids or giving your pet pills regularly, when discussing quality of life a pets personality has to be taken into consideration when discussing treatment options. A pet’s willingness and capacity to receive care may determine what treatments option would be right for your pet.

One of the most useful tool you can have is your own experiences. You, better than anyone else, know what makes your pet happy. So, create a list or a journal of your pet’s favorite things from their normal routine, and what things, if removed, would affect your pet’s quality of life. Things such as: being unable to take a morning walk or not being able to get up on the bed anymore, lack of interest in treats or toys, or cognition issues that would lead to crying, whining or pacing.

Many of the things on the list will be for your pet and their comfort, but some will be for you as well, and that’s okay. Maybe you’re not strong enough to support his weight to help him walk. Maybe you have financial constraints that prevent you from exploring alternative treatment options. Those with a full time job or children may not have the time available to dedicate to a more involved treatment plan.

Also consider your own personal beliefs. Some people want to take every possible path to treating their pet, where others may ready to say goodbye sooner. There is no right or wrong path to take as long as the pets comfort and well-being is considered.

Share your plan with your veterinarian

Discuss everything with your veterinarian and create a hospice plan for your pet’s care. Together you can determine what treatments, or palliative care options, are best for you and your pet. Communicating your choices before the end-of-life process begins will ensure that both you and your pet will have a peaceful end-of-life experience.



9/1/2017 5:50:45 PM | Erin Mills, RVT

Our own Dr. Virginia Scrivener is a Fear-Free Certified Professional.

If you have been moseying around any pet-related websites lately you may have seen this symbol more and more and wondered what exactly it stands for.

There is a new approach to handling veterinary patients that helps take care of a pets emotional well being, as well as they physical well being.  Stress and anxiety, or white coat syndrome as we call it for people, exists with pets; especially cats.  Stress and anxiety, just as in humans, can affect a pets health and can make treating those patients more difficult.

So what can we do?

The first thing is to recognize how a our pets react on their trips into the vet.  Is it the walk into the hospital that is a stress or does it start before that?  Is it the car ride or maybe even something at home that tells them what is about to happen.

Maybe your pet would benefit from a pre-visit sedation or supplements that you would give at home to help take the edge off and keep your pet happy and relaxed.  Maybe it’s just a matter of waiting in the car rather than the waiting room? Maybe your pet prefers a non-slip floor?

Maybe pheromones might help relax your pet. In our exam rooms we use pheromones.  We try to allow our patients time to explore the room and to give the pheromones time to help a pet relax a bit before anything physical happens.

Maybe your pet is food motivated. Bringing your pet to the vet hungry can make everything they experience positive with super yummy treats.  This can make a trip to the veterinarian a good thing and will help keep their stress levels low.

Going to the vet doesn’t have to be stressful.  We are proud to have Fear Free Certified Professionals on our team that are dedicated to caring for your pet’s emotional well-being as well as his or her physical well-being.

Interested in learning more about Fear Free? Visit fearfreepets.com

 

 



7/20/2017 8:09:55 PM | Erin Mills, RVT

AAHAlogo120%20copyThis symbol means that we have chosen
to undergo regular evaluations
to maintain our AAHA accreditation.
Not every hospital puts in the work
and chooses to earn this designation,
but we’re proud to say we do!

 

Not all veterinary hospitals are created equal.  We’re not saying this to discredit anyone, or to force anyone to leave a veterinarian that they trust.  On the contrary, we want to help pet owners make the best decision possible.

In human medicine it is the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) that requires all hospitals in the United States to be accredited through one of three accrediting agencies: The Joint Commission, Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) or Det Norske Veritas Healthcare, Inc. (DNV).  This means that to provide Medicare services to patients they must undergo regular reviews and quality checks to ensure they meet a specific set of Standards of Quality for every aspect of medical care.

In veterinary medicine there is only one organization that accredits veterinary hospitals, the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA).  What most people are surprised to learn is that accreditation is voluntary.  This is different from state licensing and regulatory agencies standards that must be maintained for general health and safety. There is absolutely no law that requires a veterinary hospital to meet and maintain a precise level of quality veterinary care.  AAHA accreditation is a very rigorous and time-consuming process, and most veterinary hospitals do not take the time to meet these standards since it’s not required by law. In fact, only about 12% of veterinary hospitals, clinics and practices are accredited.

There are approximately 900 Standards of Accreditation that a veterinary hospital must meet to become accredited. These standards include patient care and pain management, surgery, pharmacy, laboratory, exam facilities, medical records, cleanliness, emergency services, dental care, diagnostic imaging, anesthesiology, and continuing education.

AAHA accredited hospitals don’t have to meet these standards just once either. These standards are subject to regular review and onsite-evaluations to ensure that the high quality of care is maintained.  Animal hospitals that choose to be accredited show they are committed to going above and beyond for their patients to consistently provide the safest and highest quality care.

How do you know if your veterinary hospital is AAHA accredited? Hospitals that are AAHA accredited with proudly display the AAHA logo.  Looking to find one in your area? The easiest way is to use the AAHA Accredited Hospital Locator.

hospital_locator_logo
Click here to find an AAHA accredited practice in your area.

 

 



7/13/2017 8:02:53 PM | Erin Mills, RVT

 

There are three main reason why a cat may urinate in an inappropriate place or places.

 

It can be for Medical reasons such as: Lower Urinary Tract Disease, trauma, or a clinical signs associated with diseases like, thyroid disease, kidney disease, Diabetes or bladder stones.  It is important to rule out any potential medical concerns with your veterinarian first.  Tests that may be recommended are test such as:

    • A urinalysis
    • Complete blood Count and Blood Chemistry profile
    • Thyroid test
    • Radiographs or ultrasound

Marking behavior or spraying: Urine spraying is a normal feline behavior, but causes a problem for those of us that choose to live with cats in our homes. Urine Marking can occur on horizontal or vertical surfaces and is the normal deliberate and normal disposition of urine as a:

  • Phermonal signal to other cats
  • Territorial signal
  • Sign of stress or arousal related to the social or physical environment

    It is Important to Remember
    inappropriate urinating or marking may become learned and persist after the cat’s disease is treated.

Behavior and Stress can also affect a pets urination habits.

  • Other cats in the home – long term residents or new additions
  • Other cats or animals that can be seen, heard or smelled outside
  • Schedule changes
  • Absence of the owner
  • New people in the household
  • Renovations or construction in or around the home or neighbors’ home
  • Water sprays or other forms of punishments
  • or quite honestly CHANGE OF ANY KIND!

Identifying a cats stressor can be a long and tedious task.  It is important to keep in mind that in many cases there can be more that one stressor cause a pet to urinate inappropriately.

  • Removal of stressors that are removable
  • Address social relationships among multiple cats
  • Conflict, fear or antagonistic behavior should be managed by separation, desensitization and interruption
  • Conflicts among household cats do not have to include overt fights rather it may be one cat obstructing another cats access to food, litter or resting spots simply by sitting in the middle of the room
  • Creating a comforting environment using vertical resting spaces, creating a safe haven from other cats to meet the needs of the cat in the area they spend time.
    Litterboxes: Improved management of letterboxes alone can significantly reduce urine marking.
    – One accessible and used litterbox for each cat in the household plus one extra
    – Providing some litterboxes that are large (minimum 18×24) filled with non-fragrance clumping litter
    – Cleaning litterboxes daily
    – Ensure that each cat in the home has easy access to at least one clean uncovered box
    – Have several food and water stations throughout the home to prevent guarding and stress
    – Block evidence of outdoor cats with frosted glass or curtains.  Moving furniture a way from  widows or doors may also help.

 



6/12/2017 6:38:20 PM | Erin Mills, RVT

Summer is here and with it the sweltering heat and humidity. It is still very important that your pup gets physical and mental exercise every day even if neither of you have any desire to be outdoors. Here are a few indoor activities that you can do with you dog when you’d rather stay in and enjoy the air-conditioning.

Paying ball on stairs:

Sit at the base of your staircase and toss a ball to the top, or sit at the top of the stairs and toss the ball to the bottom.  Have your pet run up or down the stairs to fetch the ball and bring it back to you.  This can be an easy way to burn excess energy in young pups, but may be too strenuous for older or arthritic pets.

Hide and Seek:

This game gets your dog moving around the house without throwing a ball.

1.Put your dog in a separate room.
2. Take their favorite toy or some of their food and hide it in the another room. Start by placing the toy or treat in an obvious place that is easy for your pup to find. Let him out of the room and tell him to seek. (You may have to show him/her where you hid it the first couple of times). Once he finds the toy or kibble praise him with tons of affection.
3. Take him out of the room again and hide the toy or kibble again, continue to make the hiding places harder and harder until your dog is a hide and seek pro.

You can also play this game with people instead of toys or treats. Have someone help you distract your dog while you hide.

Indoor Obstacle Course:

Use objects such as empty drawers, broomsticks, pillows, cushions, hula hoops, and cardboard boxes to create an obstacle course around your house. Have your dog weave, jump, tunnel, navigate, and crawl through your obstacles.

Command Stations:

Command stations are a great way to stimulate your dog mentally! Set up different stations around your house, and mark them with a sign that has a command written on it: sit, stay, role over, shake and so on. Walk your dog from one station to the next and have him do the command that is on the sign several time. Reward him with praise or with a pieces of the normal kibble.

Stepping Stones:

Create stepping stones out of bath mats or none slip rugs and place them around the house. Start with the mats very close to each other. Place you dog on a leash and have him walk on the mats rewarding him every time he goes from one mat to the next without stepping on the floor. Slowly increase the distances between that mats making him have to leap from one to the next. Use caution not to extend the mats too far out.

 

 



5/26/2017 6:57:56 AM | Erin Mills, RVT

Summer is fast approaching and with it come holiday’s like Memorial Day and The 4th of July that are happily celebrated with a brilliant evening light display. The sky lights up with chrysanthemums and flying fish and whistling girandola, with willows and comets and red and green crossettes. The beauty of the colors as they burst to life can bring a bit of magic to a holiday.  However, for our pets the boom, crack, and pop of fireworks can be more than a little scary.  Here are a few tips to keep our pets safe and happy this summer.

  1. Take pet for a walk first so that your pet doesn’t need to “use the restroom” once the fireworks start. Some pets will be too frightened to urinate or defecate outside once the fireworks begin, and this may lead to an “accident” later on.
  2. Keep your pets INSIDE if at all posssible.  Even dogs in a fenced in yard can get scared enough by the loud boom of a fireworks display to find a way to escape.
  3. Give your a pet a comfortable place where the feel safe to hide.  Whether it be a small room, closing blinds or curtains, or in a crate in your home away from windows.
  4. Use other sounds like the television or soothing music to help dampen or mask the scary noise.
  5. Be prepared in case your pet does escape. Sometime, no matter how much we try, pets still pull a Houdini and escape.  Please make sure your pets ID tags and/or microchip information is up to date.
  6.  Sometime you being there with them is all they need. Maybe this year we skip the celebration and spend the evening cuddling with our pets instead.
  7. Keep then busy.  Distraction with play time, toys, or treats can help alleviate nerves and make it a more positive experience instead.
  8.  Try using calming pheromones like Adaptil collars or plug ins for dogs, or Feliway spray or plugins for cats, to help alleviate or lessen a pets anxiety.
  9.  Anxiety wraps, like Thunder shirts, are designed to use acupressure and maintained pressure to reduce a pets stress by providing gentle constant pressure, like a hug.
  10. Some pets with severe anxiety may need a sedative from your veterinarian to  keep them from hurting themselves or becoming destructive.