Avoid July 4th Freak-Outs

Independence Day celebrations can be very stressful for pets. Unfamiliar loud firework or celebratory noises can result in anxious or panicky behavior in dogs and cats. This can include vocalization, shaking, pacing, panting, cowering, hiding, drooling, or uncontrolled elimination. Many pets will attempt to escape or run away when they are startled. Cats and dogs with access to the outdoors are particularly at risk for getting lost.

One of the simplest and most important Independence Day celebration precautions you can make is to ensure that your pets are confined in a safe environment. Do not leave dogs unattended outdoors or with access to the outdoors even if your yard appears secure. Proper crate-training is particularly helpful when assisting dogs through times of commotion or stress. Thundershirts are anti-anxiety vests that can also help some dogs cope with stress. Cats who are outdoors should be confined a few days before the holiday since celebrations can occur early and you cannot reliably confine them in a moment's notice. Feliway calming pheromone products can be purchased at our hospital and help promote a sense of safety and security in the environment for cats.

For some pets, additional behavioral therapy in the form of oral medication and/or professional training can be extremely helpful. Zylkene is a balanced behavior supplement for dogs and cats containing a unique, milk-derived ingredient that promotes calmness. It can relax your pet without causing sedation or drowsiness. Administration should begin at least a few days before the anticipated celebrations. This medication is also appropriate and safe for behavioral issues for long-term environmental change concerns. Professional canine behavior therapy can help desensitize your dog and reduce the risk of problems. Click here for contact information for a professional dog trainer and behavior consultant. Finally, sedative medication may be appropriate for pets with significant anxiety. Please note, this medication does require recent examination and additional health screening may be recommended depending upon the age and status of your pet. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns about your pet's behavior or anxiety.

As a reminder, Moorpark fireworks occur on July 3rd at 9 pm.    

The 4th of July: Are you and your pet prepared?

Pearl July 4thThe 4th of July is notoriously stressful for pets and, unfortunately, not a year goes by where we do not hear of lost pets as a result. Consider the following tips in order to minimize stress surrounding this day for both you and your pet. Plan out your day beforehand and consider where your dog or cat will be during these times. If your day is planned ahead of time you can minimize commotion and prepare for potential stressors for your pets. Avoid feeding your pet table scraps. Foods that are rich, fatty, or outside of your pet's normal diet can be harmful. During holiday times we sometimes see cases of gastroenteritis or pancreatitis increase as a result of this. Check your pet's IDs! Is their microchip registered with your current information? Do their external ID tags have the appropriate phone number? Keep them confined. The safest place for your pet during this time is inside your home. If you have a cat who lives both indoor and outdoor consider keeping them inside a few days before the holiday since celebrations can take place early and you cannot reliably confine them at a moment's notice. The crate can be a great tool for dogs and can actually help minimize their stress during this time. Reflect upon your pet's stress level and consider what actions or tools you can use to effectively help them. For some pets, simple anti-anxiety tools or medications combined with the right environment can make a world of difference. Some pets require sedation during fireworks time in order to be truly comfortable. Don't forget that Moorpark fireworks take place at 9pm on July 3rd. Please contact us and we will be happy to discuss keeping your pet safe and happy during this holiday time. If you are unsure if your pet's microchip is registered with your current information you can click here to register your pet's microchip for a one-time lifetime registration fee or to change your info at no charge if previously registered.