Summer Sounds and Noise Anxiety in Pets

Many pet owners know the rumble of an approaching summer storm or the loud crack of a nearby fireworks display is all it takes to send a pet spiraling into fear and anxiety. The panting, pacing, and trembling begins, and, if you’re lucky, your pet merely runs and hides somewhere nearby. For the rest of us, there’s barking, howling, or frantic (and destructive) attempts to escape.

Noise anxiety in pets is more than just annoying – prolonged periods of anxiety or stress can take a toll on your pet’s mental and physical health. Your friends at Huntington Veterinary Hospital are here to help you develop a plan to support your pet during the summer and all year long.

Be Prepared

It’s not uncommon for a pet to find a way to escape their home during a noisy event. In fact, July 5th tends to be a busy day for shelters as they attempt to reunite pets who have gone missing during the chaos of July 4th celebrations.

The best thing you can do is to have your pet microchipped and ensure the chip is updated with your current contact information. A well-fitting collar with up-to-date ID tags (worn at all times) is another must-have, along with a current photo of your pet.

Managing Noise Anxiety in Pets

Unfortunately, we can’t explain to our pets that things like thunder and fireworks are loud but harmless. Instead, it’s up to pet owners to provide their pets with the reassurance they need in order to feel safe.

  • Security – If possible, don’t leave your pet home alone during a noisy event. Enlist the help of a friend or family member to stay and comfort your pet or arrange for doggie daycare or boarding services. It’s important that your pet is able to feel safe & secure inside WITH someone there to comfort and keep safe.
  • Distraction – A favorite game or fun new toy (try a puzzle feeder for a good challenge) may be distracting enough to take the edge off your pet’s anxiety. You could also use this time to groom your pet or to practice obedience commands. Close all windows and doors, and utilize background sounds, such as a fan, TV, or radio, to help muffle outside noise.
  • Safety – You know your pet the best, and you know where they feel most at home. Crate-trained pets may benefit from the comfort of their crate or carrier; some pets may prefer to sleep with or near you when they’re scared. If you know your pet will want to hide, a prearranged hiding spot can be outfitted with your pet’s bedding, toys, and water.

For pets with severe noise anxiety, a combination of behavioral techniques and medication can be helpful. For dogs, we recommend Sileo Gel for noise anxiety and we strongly advise that you get it in the weeks prior to the holiday/event to ensure availability. Remember to give it in advance of the impending firework displays as once they are already worked up it will not be as effective.

Please don’t hesitate to contact our staff for more information or to schedule an appointment for your pet.

Lost and Found: The Power of Pet Microchipping

Pet microchipping can help a lost pet become a found pet

As a pet owner, the only thing scarier than the thought of losing your pet is the fear that you’ll never find them. This fear is based in reality. Of the estimated 8 million pets who wind up in shelters each year, less than 30% of dogs and 5% of cats are ever reunited with their original families.

Fortunately, there is something you can do to improve the odds of a happy reunion: pet microchipping! Having your pet microchipped is the best insurance against a broken heart. The team at Huntington Veterinary Hospital is excited to share more about the benefits of this wonderful technology!

Continue…

Four-Legged Jet Setters: What to Know About the New Airline Restrictions for Pets

New Airline Restrictions for Pets can affect your plans for traveling with pets

Thinking of taking a trip with your pet? You aren’t alone. Each year, over 2 million animals are transported via airplane, and recent scandals have resulted in airlines tightening up their already strict rules when it comes to pet travel. Brushing up on the latest airline restrictions for pets can help you choose the best option that meets your needs, while ensuring your pet remains safe and comfortable.

New Airline Restrictions for Pets  

Lately, major airlines have come under fire as a result of a series of unfortunate incidents involving pets. There have been reports of animals being injured or killed during flights, along with various other complaints regarding animal passengers. The new airline restrictions for pets reflect the changes that all airlines are going through to make air travel safer for pets and human passengers.

Continue…

Pot and Pets: A Recipe for Disaster

pot and pets don't mix and can cause pet toxicity

California has always led the effort to legalize marijuana use, and so far, these efforts have proven successful. In 1996, California became the first state to legalize the use of medical marijuana, and has recently made history again with the passage of Proposition 64, which allows for the regulated sale and use of recreational marijuana.

As this trend continues to grow nationwide, veterinarians are seeing an increase in cases of marijuana toxicity in pets. In fact, a Colorado study in the Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care showed that the number of pets treated for marijuana poisoning quadrupled from 2005 to 2010.

Simply put, pot and pets are a dangerous combination, and it’s critically important for owners to be aware of how dangerous marijuana can be to their pets.

Pot and Pets

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the active ingredient in marijuana and is responsible for producing the desired effects. Because a pet’s body is so much smaller than a human’s, it doesn’t take much to result in a pet poisoning.

Pets are generally exposed to pot from inhalation (birds are extremely sensitive and can die from exposure to smoke), ingestion of dried or fresh plant material, or ingestion of edible marijuana products.

This last method of exposure is the most concerning, as many pets (particularly dogs) are extremely interested in people food and will overindulge if given the chance. Edible marijuana products also contain other substances that are toxic to pets, such as chocolate, nuts, or xylitol (a common sugar substitute).

Exposure Effects

Whether it’s through ingestion or inhalation of secondhand smoke, any amount of exposure to marijuana can be toxic to pets. Symptoms typically appear within a few hours and may include:

  • Stumbling, loss of coordination
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Lethargy
  • Dilated pupils
  • Drooling
  • Dribbling urine
  • Slowed respiratory rate
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Coma

Any type or amount of marijuana consumption should be considered a pet emergency. While there’s no specific antidote for pot exposure, supportive care is typically needed as the effects of the drug wear off.

A Safe Space

If you suspect your pet may have come into contact with marijuana, please let us know right away. At Huntington Veterinary Hospital, the health and safety of your pet is our top priority. We aren’t here to judge or get you into trouble. Being honest is your pet’s best chance at a full recovery.

Keeping pot and pets separate is the surest way to protect your furry family member. Store marijuana and marijuana products out of your pet’s reach, and always supervise your pet in other people’s homes.

Please don’t hesitate to contact the team at Huntington Veterinary Hospital with any questions or concerns about pot and pets.

What to Do When It Comes to Expired Veterinary Drugs

expired veterinary drugs could threaten pet health and cause a pet emergencyAn ear infection here, a cut paw pad there, and a routine surgery later, many times as a pet owner you may find yourself with some leftover medications for your furry friend. If you are like most of us, you probably find yourself stashing extras in a leftover cabinet, in hopes that you can use it a little later.

Not all drugs keep, and most medications do have an expiration date. Knowing whether to keep or toss isn’t always easy. Luckily, your friends at Huntington Veterinary Hospital know just what to do when it comes to expired veterinary drugs.

Veterinary Drug Safety

Using leftover medications in your pet’s medical supplies isn’t always as benign as it sounds. Over time, drugs may undergo chemical changes that can render them less effective, or, in less frequent cases, harmful. Continue…

Take to the Water and Dog-Paddle! Swimming Safety for Dogs

Swimming safety for dogs is an important part of summer fun with pets.When temperatures increase and the water is so appealing, what self-respecting pooch doesn’t want to take a dip in the pool, lake, or river? Many dogs naturally take to water, but not every dog likes being wet or is comfortable with this form of exercise. Even if your water-loving fur ball loves to swim, there are several things to consider to keep them safe.

To help you and your bestie enjoy the hotter months ahead, here are our top tips regarding swimming safety for dogs. Continue…

Macro and Micro Details to Support Lifelong Pet Health

pet healthIf we’re lucky, we get to live with our pets 10-20 years. That’s a significant amount of time to nurture a relationship from infancy, adolescence, or adulthood all the way to the golden years. Of course, the needs of younger animals vary from those of senior pets, but age-related changes can be supported by a lifelong commitment to pet health and wellness.

Continue…

Pet Poisoning and You: Prevention is Key!

Although not something we enjoy thinking about, preventing a pet poisoning is important to ensure our pets remain safe and healthy. Poison Awareness Week is the third week of March, and Huntington Veterinary Hospital thought now would be a good time to break out the list of things to check (and double check!).

Continue…

Keep Your Celebrations Jolly With Our Pet Party Safety Tips!

If you’re like so many families during the holiday season, that special time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s seems like one endless get-together of friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers.

Since holiday gatherings won’t be stopping any time soon, being prepared can come in handy. If you’re planning on hosting a gathering at your own home this year, you’ll naturally want to make it a safe event for your pets. That’s where our pet party safety tips come in!

Continue…

A Cornucopia Of Fall Pet Safety Tips

fall pet safety tipsThe holiday season is fast approaching, and your to-do list is likely filling up with shopping, planning, and endless activities. Spending time with your furry best friend may naturally take a backburner during these hectic days, but a little extra attention can go a long way when it comes to making sure they don’t wind up in trouble.

Make the most of this wonderful time of year by adding fall pet safety to your schedule!

Continue…