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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

IS YOUR PET AFRAID OF THUNDER STORMS?

     THE MONSOON SEASON IS BACK!



Is your pet afraid of storms?


TIPS FOR PETS WHO ARE AFRAID OF STORMS

Is your Dog or Cat afraid of the Monsoon Noises? Loud thunder, lightening and wind? Here are some Tips for this summers storm season.

If your pet/s are afraid, try these simple solutions.

· Desensitize or counter conditioning: you can do this by creating loud noises and making sure your pet gets a treat during these times assuring him that Loud is OK.

You can buy a tape of Thunderstorms and play them periodically during the week. Start off with a low volume and eventually work your way up. This will help to condition your pet to respond in a Non-Fearful way to noises that once scared him.

· Play Time” playing your pet’s favorite INDOOR game at the onset of the storm will help him prepare for the worst. Hopefully he will be able to associate that during a storm is when it is time to have fun inside! Give lots of Positive Reinforcement during this time inside.

· Calming tricks: while you go about your business with the thunder and lightning booming outside, maybe even singing and whistling, will convey to your pet that you don’t think it is a big deal.




· Create a “Safe Place” for him to go to. This can be a quite bathroom or bedroom, preferably the one farthest from windows and the quietest. A good rule of thumb to pick your pets “Safe Place” is to watch where your pet goes when he is frightened. Just because you think the bathroom is the “Safe Place”, doesn’t necessarily mean your pet does. If your pet hides under the bed like mine does, then make sure that your pet has access to that room. If you pet hides in blankets, or clothes on the floor, let him. Place a food and water bowl to assure him that he has picked a safe and happy place to go when he is afraid. Make sure you do not confine your pet, let them come and go. Some pets need to be able to stay active when they are fearful. Hiding doesn’t always work for all cats and dogs.


· Crate Training. Some dogs do better if they are in their safe and sound crate. Remember, dogs are Den Dwelling Animals; this is a good place to  many of them.

· Turn on a Radio, TV or Fan to help drown out the noise.

Most of all, Reassure your pet that you will be inside with them throughout the storm. Make yourself visible. If your pet needs you to hold him, then hold him. You can still implement or try any of the above examples. Even puppies and kittens that start out not afraid can develop the fearfulness at an older age, so make sure to always notice how your pet is acting throughout storm season.




For even more…. Check out the Thunder Shirt! Just go to www.thundershirt.com. The Thunder shirt uses gentle, constant pressure to calm your dog, effectively aiding anxiety, fearfulness, barking and more. If you don't have time for to purchase one you can always use a blanket and cuddle or some pets even like wearing one of your non-constricting T-Shirts. If you do that, please make sure you don't leave your pet alone while wearing it.

Good Luck! Hoping the Storm Season Passes soon and without a hitch for your pets!




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PET EXPERT TIP OF THE DAY

8 THINGS YOU CAN DO TO KEEP YOUR DOG SAFE IN THE SUMMER
  1. Never, ever leave your dog in the car;
  2. Make sure your dog has unlimited access to fresh water;
  3. Make sure your dog has access to shade when outside;
  4. Take walks during the cooler hours of the day;
  5. When walking, try to stay off of hot surfaces (like asphalt) because it can burn your dog's paws;
  6. If you think it's hot outside, it's even hotter for your pet – make sure your pet has a means of cooling off;
  7. Keep your dog free of external parasites (fleas, ticks) and heartworms – consult your veterinarian about the best product for your pet;
  8. Consider clipping or shaving dogs with long coats, and apply sunscreen to your dog's skin if she or he has a thin coat.

PET EXPERT TIP OF THE DAY!

Household pet tip for dogs from Blue Ribbon K9 Academy:

Train your dog to use a pet door by putting a dab of butter on the bottom edge of the flap. Have another person hold the dog on the side with the butter and you stand on the other side with treats. Your dog will lick the bottom of the flap, pushing it open while you encourage it through and offering treats. Happy Training!

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