Summertime, and the Livin’ Is Stressful: What to Do About Pet Anxiety

A Dalmatian timidly peeks around a fence postJust when your pet thought they could slip into an endless routine of naps in the shade, watermelon at snack time, and flowery evening walks, they get a rude, loud awakening. While we love the fireworks, BBQs, and parades, these quintessential summer events have the power to wreak havoc on an animal’s sense of inner calm.

How can you prevent pet anxiety this summer? With our foolproof tips and tricks!

Fun in Theory

Pet anxiety is difficult for everyone. Removing or minimizing triggers can help, but sometimes pet owners don’t know the cause. If you do know what makes your pet upset, you’ll do what you can to mitigate their symptoms. Sometimes a bit of professional help is necessary.

The Big Picture

Often, there is an underlying condition that results in – or exacerbates – pet anxiety. We can help you figure out if there is anything else you should be aware of before the summer’s events get underway. Aging pets can develop aversions to loud noises or crowds, but younger pets (who may have had negative early experiences) are equally prone to stress and anxiety.

A Note on Heat

Summer’s temperatures can make us all a bit cranky. If you notice your pet reacting to the heat, take measures to make them more comfortable. Lots of fresh water and a nice breeze go a long way.

Sharing time with your pet in the car may sound like fun, but without serious considerations to their health and well-being if unprepared.

Mother Nature

Summer thunderstorms and lightning can truly stress a pet out. Known to pick up a drop in pressure, changes in wind, or temperature, many animals hide before the show begins.

If your pet is crate trained, encourage them to stay inside their “safe space” while you play soft music or white noise. Stay with them as needed, or give them some time to work out their reaction before rejoining the household.

Hazards of Pet Anxiety

Animals don’t understand the flashes of light and sound booms associated with fireworks, and they are frightened by displays. Like thunderstorms, your pet may hide, but they can just as easily run off in utter terror. To prevent a lost or missing pet this summer, make sure yours is microchipped, kept indoors when firework shows are scheduled, and pampered with lots of attention, treats, and snuggles.

Loud Crowds

Not only do BBQs or public picnics risk your pet’s exposure to dangerous foods or choking hazards, but the sheer noise of the crowd can also result in pet anxiety symptoms. If you’re hosting a big party this summer, please consider boarding your pet for the night.

What Else You Can Do

We are always available to discuss your pet’s behavior. Training, behavior modification, and sometimes medication are helpful allies against pet anxiety. Pheromones, like Feliway for cats or Adaptil for dogs, or nutritional supplements can be extremely helpful when thunderstorms, fireworks, or crowds are expected.

When the above measures are in place, pet anxiety doesn’t have to ruin your pet’s summer. As always, please let us know if you have additional questions or concerns.