Recently we asked you to let us know what questions you would like us to answer. We were very impressed and have put together answers to your questions below:

How can you keep your dog calm during thunderstorms?

Keeping your dog relaxed during thunderstorms can be really tricky! But we have a few ways that you can try to ease the stress.

The biggest misconception that people have is that dogs will grow out of their anxiety, when in reality this is not usually the case and as time progresses their anxiety usually worsens.

Some options for dealing with anxiety or fear with pets and storms are;

  • If your dog is crate trained, utilising a crate is a good way of creating a safe space. Making sure that the crate is in a dark area that is as sound proofed as possible is a good start to helping them calm down. Make sure they have blankets and their favourite belongings with them to help soothe them. Lots of dogs will try to hide when they are stressed or scared and providing them with a safe space where they can hide will help them to cope better in stressful situations.
  • If you do not have a crate for training, a cozy quiet spot on the lounge or in a bed with blankets if they want it will suffice – wherever they are most comfortable is best.
  • The most important thing is that you cannot reinforce the fear by providing comfort to your pet when they are scared. We often hear of many people saying if your dog is upset or stressed in the storm to ignore them or to not give them treats or comfort. If they are scared and they need a cuddle to help them calm down, you can definitely give them a cuddle.
  • When they are scared they are in a panic attack zone and can’t think. To desensitise them to the storm you will need to make the storm a “good” experience for them. Encouraging them with their favourite foods and cuddles or anything they love WITHIN their safe space will help.
  • Thundershirts can be helpful but don’t always work
  • Adaptil collars, diffusers and spray – dog appeasing pheromone to help reduce stress in stressful situations. We use this often when pets come into the hospital to try and make their visits more peaceful.
  • Calming music to drown out the thunder
  • Situational medication – You can try herbal medications such as zylkene, however if their phobia is quite severe visiting your vet to get situational anxiety medication for thunderstorms could prove helpful.
  • It is important to keep up to date with weather forecasts and to implement soothing techniques before the storm comes even if you’re unsure if it is coming or not. Dogs are able to sense that a storm is coming and the anxiety is likely to start before we see the storm

What do we recommend for older dogs with stiffness and arthritis:

Our elderly dog population can suffer a lot from arthritis and we really pride ourselves on helping our elderly patient remain comfortable in their twilight years, below is some recommendation that could help with your pet and arthritis.

  • We recommend a product called Antinol Rapid. Antinol is great for long-term use and there are no known contraindications with other medications. It is a natural anti-inflammatory and is a highly concentrated green-lipped muscle supplement.
  • Keeping older dogs warm during the cold months with a jacket and an option for a blanket is important to reduce discomfort.
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin which are building blocks for cartilage come as a supplement that can be given and can be combined with their food.
  • Some people like to use hemp oil which in some pets is beneficial.
  • Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory.
  • There are two lines of food that have had extensive research put into them to help reduce the signs of arthritis and are a completely balanced diet, these are royal canin mobility or hills science diet joint diet (j/d).
  • Synovan is an injectable anti-inflammatory drug that we can give at the vet that stimulates cartilage synthesis, repair, and protection. We usually recommend a course of 4 injections on a weekly basis every 6 months and have had great results with this product.
  • In addition to these supplements, we also recommend a multi-modal approach to pain management so will often recommend these in combination with physical therapies such as acupuncture, K-Laser therapy, environmental management, and pain relief medication.

What can you do for an animal that hates their nails being trimmed

Cutting your pets nails is extremely stressful for everyone involved. It is important that we try and make the experience as positive as possible so that all parties involved stay safe.

Some tips we recommend when trying to cut your pets nails are:

  • Using counter conditioning technique such as offering delicious food while the nail clippers are near/around/while trimming the nails
  • Bribery – it is amazing how less stressed your pet can be when they are enjoying their favourite snack, offering yummy food and distraction can be a very useful tool.
  • Taking it very slow, you may not be successful the first time and that is okay, each try if you get closer with a less reaction you are doing great.
  • If it is extremely stressful for your pet you can visit your vet and request medication that can help reduce anxiety and keep your pet calm, making the overall experience less stressful for everyone.

Thank you to all our clients who asked us questions, feel free to send through any more topics you would like covered and we will be sure to get back to you.

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