We clean our roof gutters and trim trees to prepare for storm season, but have you thought about how to prepare your pets?
Dogs and cats can become very stressed during storms. This can be seen as vocalising, hiding and restlessness. Some pets can become destructive and may claw at doors and chew on walls which can be harmful to your property as well as themselves.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
There are many things which can help alleviate your pet’s stress during a storm.
Pheromones can be used as a natural therapy to help stimulate calm and relaxed feelings. An Adaptil collar for dogs is a simple solution, just pop it on and allow the pheromones to work their magic. You can use these collars monthly especially during storm season.
Feliway Spray is a product which mimics the feline facial pheromone and gives cats the feeling of familiarity and safety. Feliway can reduce anxiety in many different stressful situations, just spray it on the areas where your cat likes to frequent.
Complete Calm chews are a tasty treat made by PAW by Blackmores. They contain B vitamins and tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid which is a precursor to serotonin (happiness hormone) and melatonin (sleepy hormone). B-complex vitamins maintain a healthy nervous system.
Zylkene is a natural product derived from the protein in milk (casein) and can be given to cats and dogs to help them cope with challenging situations. It is available as capsules which can be mixed into your pet’s food, or given as a whole capsule orally.
A ThunderShirt applies gentle, constant pressure on a dog’s torso which can have a calming effect on most dogs. Pressure has been shown to reduce anxiety in both animals and humans.
BEHAVIOUR MODIFICATION TRAINING
When pets are taught that they are safe and that good things happen during those noisy storms e.g. they get fed lots of chicken or get to play with their favourite toy, then they LEARN that storms are not so bad. Some pets like to hide safely in a dog crate, or sometimes playing “white noise” in the background to compete with the storm noises can help.
The best time to start desensitising your pet to storms is during good weather. They will be more open to learning when they are not already stressed. Playing recordings of storm sounds, getting them used to their dog crate and working on commands will help them prepare for the real thing.
A specific behavioural modification training plan can be tailored to your individual pet’s needs. We recommend Positive Response Dog Training.
Some pets are just too stressed and this stops them from being able to learn and settle during storms. Sometimes the use of prescription anti-anxiety medications can help in these situations. Your pet will require an appointment with your Veterinarian before medications can be prescribed.
For more information please contact us on 3208 9233 and our Veterinarians can discuss treatment options that best suit your pet.