Posts in Category: Training & Behavior
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.
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.
When it comes to introducing a new pet to your existing pets, patience is a virtue. It can be tempting to try and make them a member of the family immediately, but you’ll avoid problems and stress all around by taking your time.
How to go about introducing a new pet? Take our tips for a successful meeting to heart, and you’ll all be well on your way to a home of happy pets (and pet parents!).Continue…
Bringing a new puppy into your family is arguably one of the most delightful experiences life has to offer. Along with all the fun and cuteness, however, comes a big dose of responsibility. Puppies require regular wellness care, vaccinations, proper nutrition, daily exercise, and much more.
Puppy training and grooming are two important factors that go into the health and happiness of your pet. Fortunately, Huntington Veterinary Hospital is here to help with both!
More than Just a Pretty Face
No one can deny the pleasure that comes from snuggling a freshly bathed pup, but grooming has benefits beyond simple cleanliness. Regular bathing and brushing keeps the fur free of tangles and mats, removes excess dirt and hair, and stimulates blood flow to the skin. Nail trims are important for the health of your pet’s paws, and ear cleanings keep the ears free of buildup that could lead to infection or discomfort.
Making pet grooming a priority also gives you or your groomer the chance to inspect your dog’s skin for lumps, bumps, wounds, or external parasites on a regular basis.
The Importance of Puppy Training and Socialization
We’ve all met dogs who haven’t been properly trained or socialized; perhaps they jump up on guests, bolt out the door as soon as it’s opened, or display aggressive or fearful tendencies. Puppy training and socialization is absolutely vital to the future happiness of your new pet. A well-behaved, properly socialized dog is more confident, happier, and poses less of a risk to themselves and others.
Ideally, a puppy’s socialization process begins at home between 3-9 weeks of age. This is the time for lots of gentle handling, exposure to new people and places, and redirection away from undesirable behaviors such as chewing, play biting, or house soiling. As soon as your pup is fully vaccinated, introduce a formal training and socialization class, as well as increase exposure to other people and pets.
What We Offer
At Huntington Veterinary Hospital, we strongly believe in treating the whole pet, which is why we offer grooming and training services, in addition to high-quality medical care.
- Puppy grooming – A clean puppy is a happy puppy! Bring your little cutie in for a bath, nail trim, ear cleaning, haircut, anal gland expression, and parasite examination with our professional groomer. You can also combine additional veterinary services with your puppy’s grooming appointment.
- Puppy training and socialization – Give your new pet the opportunity to socialize with other puppies in a supervised group setting. They’ll learn basic obedience skills and practice good manners in our puppy training and socialization classes.
- Rally and trick training – Rally and trick training classes take your dog’s skills to the next level. This also gives you a chance to work and learn together in a high-energy environment.
For further questions about our puppy training or other classes or to schedule an appointment for your pet, please don’t hesitate to contact the staff at Huntington Veterinary Hospital.
As anyone who has ever loved a dog before can attest, their companionship and love rivals even the best of human friendships. And anyone who has been lucky enough to raise their dog from a puppy, knows that the challenges that come with puppy training are worth their weight in gold later in life.
Puppies, much like babies, rely on us for everything. We are the guardians who introduce them to the world all around, as well as instill in them a sense of security and understanding of their place in our “pack”. Yet, unfortunately, many puppies do not receive the training and socialization they need for their safety and well-being.
That is why we want to highlight the many great reasons why training and socialization classes are so important for your new puppy.