Ahh, the great outdoors. You love it and your pup loves it. Every summer, I just can’t wait to pack up my camping gear and heed nature’s call (wait, am I using that expression right?). Anyway, if you’re thinking about taking your dog camping with you for the first time, or the hundredth time, there’s a lot to consider to be sure your best bud and your neighboring campers have a great time. For instance, where’s the best place for your dog to sleep? The tent or a dog camping crate? What are the best dog-friendly campgrounds near you? What vaccinations are important to be sure your dog doesn’t get sick while camping? We’ve got a checklist you can follow for a fun trip with Fido.
The Best Dog Anxiety Treatment
I love summer, mainly for the food. I don’t care if it’s pouring down rain, I will still find a way to fire up the grill. Give me burgers, ribs, lightly-charred corn on the cob, chicken, potato salad, coleslaw, baked beans... I might have to go BBQ before I even finish writing this paragraph. The only one who possibly loves barbecue season more than me, is my dog. She’s a pro at giving me the “puppy eyes.” As tempting as it is to toss her a hotdog, it can actually cause more harm than good. Here are some tips for how to enjoy summer cooking while also keeping your dog happy and safe. Bon apetite! Continue reading
Don’t know about y’all, but down here at ThunderWorks’ HQ in Raleigh, NC it is already up to a sweltering 95 degrees out and we’ve still got a few months of summer left. Now, imagine wearing a fur coat every time you walked out your door…That’s what your dog is dealing with while you're shooting down your slippin’ slide. So, how do you keep your dog cool on a hot day? We’ve got some helpful tips! Check ‘em out:
Pets and fireworks go together about as well as grape jelly and tacos (actually, our dog would still probably find that delicious). It’s because of cats and dogs’ fireworks anxiety that July 4th is one of the biggest days for pet stress. In fact, shelters report the largest amount of runaway pets the day after the fourth of July, caused by fireworks, large crowds, and unfamiliar environments. Nearly five dozen lost dogs were reported at San Diego shelters alone in 2016, according to Fox News. What we associate with fun celebration, pets associate with loud noises, bright flashes, and anxiety. They may panic, bark uncontrollably, chew through leashes, dig under fences & run away, claw destructively, suffer seizures, or even run into traffic trying to escape the scary sounds. But fret not! We’ve got plenty of handy tips to keep your pet safe and sound this holiday.
WHAT IS DOG SEPARATION ANXIETY?
Leaving your dog or puppy home alone is never easy, but for many dogs, separation from their families can cause severe anxiety and real problems. Veterinarians and trainers call this condition “dog separation anxiety.” Based on our survey of over 2,000 dog owners in the United States, over 13% of all dogs suffer from separation anxiety. And the consequences can be severe for your dog, your family and your property. Continue reading
WHY ARE DOGS AFRAID OF THUNDER AND OTHER NOISES?
According to our research, dog thunderstorm anxiety or fear of noises can arise from a variety or combination of factors. Some dogs have suffered a traumatic event involving loud noises or lightning strikes that creates a historic "trigger" for them to become anxious. Some dog breeds may have a genetic predisposition towards noise anxiety while some studies suggest that storm or noise anxiety could be a result of aging or hearing loss. No matter the specific cause, the need to relieve your dog’s fears becomes clear when your dog hides, shakes, or worse every time a storm rumbles. Continue reading
Unfortunately, for a dog that is afraid of noise, no amount of explaining or consoling will help. Noise Anxiety is a very real and very common problem for dogs across the globe. Nearly 15 million dogs suffer from noise anxiety severe enough for their owners to seek help. That’s a lot of anxiety! If your dog suffers from noise anxiety, there are alternative choices, to expensive medications, available to help relieve the stress. Continue reading
WHAT IS CAR TRAVEL ANXIETY?
While many dogs enjoy car rides, for some others, a car ride can become a trip of anxiety or over-excitement. According to our survey of over 2,000 dog owners across the United States, over 5% of dogs suffer from issues during travel. These issues can create real problems for taking your dog to the veterinarian, the groomer, or anywhere involving a car trip. Many dogs are so fearful of traveling, that even getting them in the car can be a struggle. Other forms of travel are also difficult for many dogs. Air travel in particular can be a very traumatic event that often require heavy sedation. Continue reading
With many parts of the nation already devastated by harmful wildfires in Southern California and flooding and tornadoes throughout Arkansas, Alabama, Kansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Iowa and Louisiana, June marks National Pet Preparedness Month. We want you to use National Pet Preparedness Month as a positive reminder to proactively make preparations for your pets should they encounter a natural disaster.
Remembering to include your pet in disaster plans can reduce potential dangers for the pets themselves, pet owners and first responders. Like humans, our pets can become even more stressed or anxious at the onset of a severe weather event, which is why keeping pets calm during the evacuation process is a crucial component to pet disaster preparedness. Not only does a calm pet make for a smoother evacuation, but it also minimizes the chance for your pet to be left behind or lost during a disaster.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when preparing for a possible severe weather event.
o Be sure your pets have a permanent pet ID such as a microchip to help locate them in case they become lost.
o Try to keep a pet as calm as possible during a severe weather event. Use a ThunderShirt, keep their favorite toy around and try not to overexcite them.
o Make a disaster kit with extra pet food, litter, water and accessories (toys, dog bed) to have in case you are left home with no power, or are forced to evacuate your home.
o Keep photographs, medications and medical records for each pet stored in sealed/waterproof plastic bags (and cloud back up if applicable) to bring with you in the wake of a disaster for locating purposes.
o Find out ahead of time if the evacuation destination is pet-friendly. If not, make arrangements for a place to take pets if a disaster hits.
o Make sure that your pets are up-to-date on their vaccinations. If a pet needs to be boarded, kennels typically require proof of current vaccinations.
o Assign a back up caretaker (such as a neighbor or nearby friend) who is comfortable taking the pet should you not be able to return home during a disaster.
Stay safe friends!
So… you know where to go… but how are you going to get your dog there? Tips for car travel with your dog.
While bringing your pet along on your family vacation can be a wonderful way to include your pet in on the family fun. It’s important to know that pets do not travel the same way we do. Many times, long rides in the car, unfamiliar locations and new surroundings can contribute to pet anxiety. ThunderWorks wants to remind you that while it may be fun for the pet owner to have their buddy by their side as they embark on new adventures, there are a few things to keep in mind when traveling with your pet.
Make them comfortable.
o Be sure your pet has enough room in the car so they aren’t squished. For added comfort and calming, make sure you have a ThunderShirt with you for the car ride and spray their shirt or a blanket from home with ThunderSpray for additional calming.
Make more frequent pit stops.
o Dogs might not be able to hell you when they have to “go” be aware that they often need to eliminate more frequently and account for the time you’ll need to stop, walk and use the bathroom. We recommend using the ThunderLeash in case added restraint is needed in a new surrounding. (You also won’t have to pack a harness!)
If your dog is extremely anxious in the car.
o Consider using a ThunderCap. This helps reduce some of the visual stimulation that a pet experiences, which helps them in stressful situations. Also, consider a distraction toy, to help your dog focus on something else, rather than the car!
Most important… BE SAFE!
o It’s a lot safer for everyone if your dog is securely fastened or confined during car trips. A large dog in your lap or a small one bouncing around the accelerator pedal can be distracting and dangerous—and should you have an accident, your unrestrained dog might be thrown about the cab. Popular options for safe dog travel include dog seat belts, crates and car barriers. If you use a seat belt, be sure to put your dog in the backseat. When riding in the front, dogs can be injured or even killed if you have an accident and an airbag deploys.
o Don’t forget to microchip your dog before leaving home, and attach an ID tag with your cell phone number to his collar. If you’re traveling to multiple places during your trip and you don’t have a cell phone, you can buy inexpensive temporary ID tags to use along the way.
o Never leave your dog in a hot or cold car unattended. Doing so isn’t just uncomfortable for your dog—it can be life threatening.
o Identify emergency animal clinics close to locations you plan to visit during your trip. This is an especially important precaution if your dog is enjoying his golden years.