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  • Writer's pictureKnollwood Hospital for Pets

Noisy holidays don't have to scare your pet!

It doesn't have to be this way...NEXT year, talk to us well ahead of the 4th. This year, Dr. M's Bettina & Wally did well because we planned ahead. Crates were ready, and we started our meds two days in advance. Both dogs got a smaller-than-usual dinner very early on the 4th, and were leash-walked on secure leashes well before dusk. They were crated from before dusk until 10pm, which is the time that Wonder Lake starts to settle down (were we in Schaumburg, they'd have stayed in their crates till about midnight).

What meds did they get? Both Wally and Bettina got Stress-Away herbal chews, which they thought were a treat. Bettina, a skittery puppy-mill rescue, also got a homeopathic remedy. (Homeopet Anxiety TFLN drops). Both meds were started Thursday. Plus, Bettina & Wally were Knollwood Hospital for Pets's experiment with the new doggie pheromone Adaptil, in the form of wipes in their crates . Adaptil is a synthetic doggie pheromone that creates a "there, there, everything is OK" feeling in the brain. It has been available in Europe for some time but is quite new to the United States.

The result??? Calm dogs and a happy Mom. At Knollwood, we've recommended herbal and homeopathic calmer-downer products for years, and new Adaptil also proved to be a winner. We'll have it available in the form of collars, wipes, and a diffuser, as soon as those products are available.

What should you choose for YOUR pet?

Nothing works for EVERY dog - but if you plan ahead, we should be able to come up with something effective for your pets. It's always best to trial a calmer-downer well BEFORE a big noisy holiday and to have a back-up option. And it's important to remember that as much as you might prefer to use something herbal or homeopathic, sometimes a traditional anti-anxiety medication is best. Remember, the longer your pet has been fearful the longer it will take to resolve the issue. It's just not reasonable to expect that you can resolve a year or more of fear issues by starting a med on July 3!

One sticky situation to think about, that can make for an even longer required treatment time: we sometimes see pets that have been accidently reinforced for showing fear. It's hard to accept that cuddling and petting a frightened pet is exactly the WRONG thing to do - but when you do this, you are usually actually reinforcing the fearful behavior. For pets who have accidentally received reinforcement for showing fear, or who have had fear issues on several or more part occasions, make an appointment to meet with one of our trained staff. They can show and tell you how to change your behavior to hep make your pet feel more secure. We CAN make it better for you and your pet by the next noisy holiday!

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