Cordova_iStock_000028058734_LargeSummer is finally here, and after a long, hard Michigan winter, pets and people alike are ready to feel the grass between their toes (or paws) and the sun on their legs (or fur). For the most part, summer is a time of enjoyment and relaxation, but for many pets summer brings with it some major stressors. Thunderstorms, fireworks, parties and other summer social events can leave pets trembling with fear, or acting out their anxiety in destructive ways.

While it’s impossible to completely shield our pets from the loud noises and social stimuli that may make them anxious, it’s important to know what steps to take to keep pets calm, cool, and relaxed during the dog days of summer.

Ka-Boom!! Dealing With Thunderstorm And Firework Anxiety

Some pets don’t seem to be bothered by the explosive sounds of thunder and fireworks, while others are left quaking in fear, destroying the house, or worse, risking injury by leaping out of windows or trying to claw their way through closed doors.

Try the following tactics to lessen your pet’s anxiety during a storm or fireworks display:

  • Provide your pet with a safe, quiet, spot to hide, such as a back room or in his or her crate.
  • Mask the noise by turning on the television or radio in the room where your pet is staying, and make sure all windows and doors are closed.
  • Stay near your pet, offer reassurance in the form of calm words and snuggles.
  • Help distract your pet with favorite toys, games, or treats.
  • Many pet owners find that pressure-based anxiety reduction products, such as the Thundershirt, works wonders for helping pets cope.

If your pet is still experiencing severe anxiety, please give us a call. We can offer further behavioral help or recommend medications to ease your pet’s anxiety.

How To Keep Pets Calm During Parties

Getting together with family and friends in the beautiful weather is part of what makes summer so special. While it’s wonderful if pets can join in the festivities with us, many dogs and cats find large gatherings stressful and over-stimulating. Having to manage an overly anxious or hyperactive pet can put a damper on even the most laid back get together.

A little planning goes a long way when it comes to making pets feel calm and comfortable during social events. Set up a private space for your pet to retreat to, make sure he or she has access to water, food, toys, and comfy bedding. Keep overly exuberant dogs leashed or crated while guests are arriving and departing. We also recommend exercising your dog vigorously before a party. After all, a worn out pooch is a mellow pooch.

Behavioral therapy can be helpful when it comes to managing anxiety in pets. Contact us for more information, or with any questions you may have.