Fireworks and Thunderstorms

It’s that time of year when fireworks are common for celebrating many special occasions. Many pets can show fear and or anxiety from fireworks, as well as loud thunder during summer storms. Some signs of anxiety are heavy panting, hiding under furniture or in closets, shaking or whining and the inability to settle down. If you see signs of fear in your furry friend, reach out to us for more advice.

During community fireworks displays, please leave your pets at home. Many pets get very startled by the loud noises and large crowds and may escape out of their collars trying to get away from the noise, unfortunately, getting lost. Shelters are often housing lost pets after recent fireworks displays.

Medication and Thunder shirts can help many pets during thunderstorms or fireworks. A Thunder Shirt is a snug fitting shirt that can calm pets because they feel swaddled and comfy. The key to success is placing it on your pet during calm/relaxing times and then removing it. In contrast, if you put the Thunder Shirt on just before a storm, your pet will start to associate it with bad things instead of something comforting, and it will not work. If the Thunder shirt does not help during fireworks or storms, please consult us for medications to help with noise phobias.

If we have not seen your pet in a year, it’s best to have an exam performed by our veterinarian and discuss your pet’s behaviour during fireworks and storms. Then the doctor will discuss if medication is right for your pet or other options that are available and what to expect. It is also important to have enough time for ‘trial doses’ of the medication prior to fireworks or storms. This allows us to adjust the dosage accordingly before scary noises occur. If you have questions or concerns about your pet’s comfort during fireworks or storms, please call us to schedule an appointment.

Written by Jen Barr, Receptionist