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Do you have a Pet Emergency Management Plan?

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Acting now to prepare for the Worst.

We have encountered many natural disasters in the Canterbury area over the past 10-12 years.  We are a resilient bunch, but it can certainly take a toll on our health and wellbeing and it is the same with our pets.

Extreme stress can cause a dog to defecate, urinate or vomit.  Earthquakes, winds or even anything that imitates these can trigger a dogs fear. Loud noises, shaking, things moving or falling, thunder and lightening. Often just a truck rumbling past can be enough to set off a dog that has had a traumatic experience.

After the weekend’s storm and a couple of nasty wee earthquakes, I just wanted to go over a few wee tips and tricks that may help your pets keep calm over the months ahead, which you can read below.

I have created an extremely helpful PDF poster that is completely free for you to download and print full of great advice and includes a handy checklist so you can make sure you’ve covered all areas. Download here

Buy one get one FREE Throughout June!

Along with all the helpful Pet Emergency Poster, you will find our famous Mobile Vet Nurse Home Alone wallet cards to purchase from our website. For all of 30th June 2021 purchase one Home Alone Card and get one FREE! Simply add the coupon code HOMEALONE in the basket.

Keeping calm under stress

Sometimes, events are out of our control. If you are stressed, your pet is likely to feel the same.

Trying to plan for unforeseen events is hard, but a fact of life in New Zealand as our little country faces an array of serious natural disasters on offer. When we find ourselves in this position, we tell ourselves to keep calm – and the advice applies to your pet.

Here are my top 8 tips on how to keep your furry friend happy during times of stress:

Keeping your pet exercised can help relieve stress by producing beneficial endorphins.  Using exercise as both a bonding time and to tire out your pet is often an easy fix!

Here are my top 8 tips on how to keep your furry friend happy during times of stress:

  1. Keeping your pet exercised can help relieve stress by producing beneficial endorphins.  Using exercise as both a bonding time and to tire out your pet is often an easy fix!
  2. Time out in a quiet place can often help. If your dog has a crate or your cat has a box, give them space to hang out there without little ones getting in their space.  Quite often dogs dealing with stress will retreat to a safe quiet space naturally, so please respect their choice.
  3. Anxiety often causes tensing of the muscles and massage therapy is one way to alleviate tension. You can try massaging your pet when they are calm and resting. Start at the neck and work downward with long strokes. Try to keep one hand on your pet, while the other works to massage. Over time you may even be able to identify where your pet holds its stress and just work on that one particular area.
  4. Calming coats are wonderful.  They apply mild, constant pressure to a dog’s torso, surrounding a dog much like a swaddling cloth on a baby. It’s recommended for dogs with any type of anxiety induced by travel, separation, noise, or stranger anxiety. Depending on the size of your dog, there are several brands and models to choose from. If you Google “Thunder shirt”, it will bring up a lot of options of where to purchase within NZ.
  5. Music therapy has been proven to be beneficial for both humans, as well as our canine and feline friends. The power of music can be calming and relaxing while you’re home, in the car, or away from your pet. Music can also alleviate noise sensitivity by blocking the street or scary noises that upset some dogs and create anxiety. I find this helps a lot during fireworks season – shut the curtains to avoid the bright flashes and the music helps dull the outside noise.  Great also for raging storms and lightning/thunder too
  6. Rescue Remedy is part of the Bach homoeopathic line of remedies for humans. It is comprised of 5 different Bach Flower Remedies that constitute a stress reliever. It is completely safe to use on your dog. You just add 2-4 drops directly to their drinking water. There is also a spray that you can use on pet bedding and toys.
  7. Adaptil is basically aromatherapy for dogs! It uses pheromones to help allay fears, much like a nursing mother gives off to her puppies. It is easy to use: just plug the diffuser into the room your dog spends the most time in. The diffuser releases “dog-appeasing” pheromones, an odourless scent particular to dogs. (Humans, cats, and other pets will not smell anything.)
  8. For really tough cases, your Veterinarian may be able to prescribe anti-depressants to help with your pet’s anxiety. Medication isn’t a cure for separation anxiety — there is no “magic pill” that will take your pet’s stress away, but anti-anxiety drugs are generally well-tolerated by pets and can provide much-needed relief and support in certain situations.   Keep in mind that drugs are not necessarily the last resort when all other treatment options have failed. Starting pets on medication sooner, rather than later, can be more beneficial in the long run.