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New Year's Eve & Your Pet

For auld lang syne, my dear. For auld lang syne! Cheers! Amongst the glitter and champagne, the toasts and resolutions, the fireworks and…. Wait… Fireworks?! If you’ve ever experienced a dog with a thunder storm phobia your ears have probably just perked up at the mention of fireworks. Loud noises in general are often a source of stress for pets. There are lots of different approaches to helping your pet cope with fireworks and other loud noises. Some over-the-counter solutions our hospital carries include Thunder Shirts and pheromone diffusers such as Feliway for cats and Adaptil for dogs. These strategies are most helpful for mildly anxious dogs. Supplements such as Zylkene and Calming Care as well as specially formulated diets such as Royal Canin Calm can also help reduce anxiety in your pets.  However, if your pet needs additional support through an impending stressful scenario, speak to your veterinarian about prescription options that can help. Ensuring that your pet has a relaxing place to hide or to retreat to will help them to cope with the stressful noises in an appropriate manner. Monitor your pet directly and offer positive reinforcement or favourite activities to distract them whenever possible. Some pets may become destructive when they are stressed and may inadvertently harm your home and/or themselves in the midst of a panic attack. Do not scold or intimidate your pet as this will only add to the panic. If you know your pet has not responded well to loud noises or large gatherings in the past, consider making alternate arrangements for him/her in advance; perhaps they would be more comfortable staying at a boarding facility or a friend’s home where it will be quieter for the night. You know what they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Happy New Years!

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