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.    

Pet Travel Safety

January 2nd is National Pet Travel Safety Day. Dogs and cats have difficulty traveling for a variety of reasons including stress, motion sickness, and severe anxiety. We offer a natural over-the-counter supplement that significantly reduces stress for most dogs and cats. When used daily, this supplement can improve a pet's quality of life at home and during travel. Cats are particularly known to exhibit signs of stress during travel. As Ventura County's only Gold Certified Cat Friendly Practice, we do everything we can to minimize stress for cats and ultimately improve their overall quality of life. You can stop by our hospital prior to travel to pick up a complimentary kitty calming kit. This includes a calming pheromone Feliway wipe for your cat carrier and a natural calming supplement to be given orally. When your cat is comfortable with their carrier, travel safety can be greatly increased.  Click here for tips on getting your cat comfortable with their carrier. Dogs and cats can also exhibit signs of motion sickness during travel including drooling, excessive lip licking, excessive panting, shaking and/or vomiting. Motion sickness can cause pets to be fearful—it is an experience they do not want to repeat. We offer a prescription medication that safely and effectively offers prevention from motion sickness in pets. For some pets, anxiety during travel can be extremely high. When this is the case, we may offer prescription anti-anxiety medication and/or referral to a behavioral consultant. We are your resource to help keep pets safe and happy during travel. You no longer have to avoid traveling to the vet or leaving your furry companion behind.