Happy New Year from My Vet!

Christmas and New Years holiday period is filled with lots of celebration and of course, fireworks. We are looking forward to a wonderful new year with our amazing clients and their pawesome dogs and cats. All of us here at My Vet Animal Hospital – Waterloo absolutely love a good celebration with fireworks, unfortunately, many of our furry friends do not.

Fireworks can scare animals of all sizes. New Year’s Eve is actually one of the most common times of year that pets run away from home, trying to escape those unexplained loud noises in the sky. Here are our top tips for dogs during fireworks to make sure your pet stays happy this New Year’s Eve, especially if he has been uncomfortable with fireworks (or thunder) in the past.

1.  Get Some Exercise
Consider taking an extra-long run early in the day (if it’s not too hot). He can’t get too worried about the festivities if he sleeps through them!

Ensure that your pup gets plenty of exercise earlier during the day.

2.  Make A Safe Space
Try creating a hidey-hole for your furbaby. If you have a quiet room with no windows (even just a bathroom), try putting his dog or cat bed and his favourite blanket and toys in there before the fireworks start. That way he’ll have somewhere relatively quiet he can retreat. Some pets even like the security of hiding in the bathtub! Experiment to see what makes your pet happiest.

Chu loves his little snuggly bed. A nice snuggly bed will allow your pets to find his/her little retreat space.

3.  Can I See Some I.D.?
Make sure his tags and microchip details are up to date. Even the best-looked-after pet can make a break for it and run out the door if he’s scared enough. If he gets out, he’ll need to have information on him so whoever finds him can get in touch with you immediately.

A proper collar with an ID tag – complete with your contact numbers is a must. Ensure that the microchip details are up to date.

4.  Try A Thundershirt
You can buy a Thundershirt in lots of pet stores for around $50. They work using the same principal behind swaddling babies. I always tell my clients it’s like a hug he can wear! It has to go on TIGHT, though (without cutting off circulation, of course) to work. They also work best if you put it on him before the fireworks actually start. Effective in lots of dogs and some cats, without any side effects!  If you can’t get a Thundershirt, you can try wrapping a muscle wrap (one of those beige bandages they sell at the pharmacy) several times around his chest (not his neck). Wrap it no more tightly than you would hug your best friend. Make sure he can breathe easily, and remember to take it off as soon as the fireworks are over.

Thundershirt works a treat! It gives your furbaby a hugging effect.

5. Aromatherapy
My favourite is Adaptil, a canine “pheromone”. It smells like a nursing mama dog, and triggers calm, happy and safe feelings in your pet. They don’t work on all dogs, but they do seem to help many. There’s a cat version called “Feliway,” too!

Feliway: cat pheromones to help with anxiety especially during stressful events!

Canine feel good pheromones: Adaptil. It comes in 2 different versions: collar vs diffuser.

6. Take A Chill Pill
Come see us if none of these work, or if your pet has a track record of getting VERY upset about storms or other loud noises. We may be able to prescribe something to calm him down (depending on how healthy he is and what other medications he’s on, of course).

Chu is in a happy place. 🙂

We hope you all enjoy your celebrations, and that your pets do too! Happy New Year see you all in 2017!

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