Thunderworks Blog

The Best Dog Anxiety Treatment

  • Camping With Your Pet!

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    Summer gives so many of us a great excuse to get out in the fun, sun, sand and trees! We hear that many of our ThunderWorks customers LOVE to bring their furry friends along when going on a camping trip! SO, looking for some quick tips and info to make sure your camping trip is safe and fun with Fido? Our friends at PetFinder.com offer some great ways to prepare for a fun weekend with the family… including the four-legged members!

     

    Before you leave:

    Check to see whether the camping area allows dogs, and familiarize yourself with the rules for pets at the site.

    Talk to your veterinarian and make sure your dog is healthy and up-to-date on all required vaccinations, particularly rabies. Ask your vet whether your dog should be vaccinated against Lyme disease, a tick-borne disease. Discuss appropriate flea and tick control. Be sure your dog is protected against heartworms, which are transmitted by mosquito bite and have been reported in all 50 states, according to the American Heartworm Society.

    Have an appropriate collar or harness with an identification tag. Use a cell phone number where you can be reached at all times, not a home phone number, on the tag. Microchipping your dog will provide an additional measure of protection in the event that your dog becomes lost. Register the microchip – or make sure the information is up to date if your dog already has a chip — so that you can be contacted when your dog is located.

     

    Packing for Your Dog

    Bring water for your dog to drink if a water supply is not available at the campsite. Do not allow your dog to drink out of standing bodies of water. Your dog should continue to eat his regular diet during the trip; pack enough food and treats to last for your entire stay. Pack a food dish and water bowl. Bring bedding and toys to keep your dog occupied as well. Take a copy of your dog’s health records and vaccination reports, especially important if you are crossing state lines. Other essential items include a leash and collar or harness, a carrier or other means to confine your dog when necessary, bags to pick up your dog’s waste, a first aid kit and any medications your dog takes regularly.

     

    What To Do with Your Dog While Camping

    Once at the camping ground, keep your dog on a leash or otherwise confined so that other campers are not disturbed and your dog is not at risk for becoming lost or injured. Be aware of keeping your dog away from things such as campfires and cooking utensils that can cause injury. A “leave it” command is also useful in case your dog begins to explore or picks up something dangerous in his mouth.

     

    Keep your dog close to you during your camping expedition. If you are unable to supervise your dog, be sure he is properly confined. Do not leave your dog confined in a closed car or tied to a stationary object though. Provide a carrier, crate, or portable fencing unit instead.

    While camping, check your dog’s fur and skin regularly for ticks as well as for plant material like thorns or burrs. Plant materials should be brushed free of your dog’s hair, if possible. In some situations, cutting or shaving the hair may be necessary to remove these items.

     

    Remove ticks promptly by grasping the tick near the skin and pulling gently and slowly away from the skin. Wear gloves when doing so. Do not handle ticks with bare hands as they can transmit diseases to you as well as to your dog.

     

     

    Do you bring your dog camping with you? What tips can you share?

     

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  • Summer Barbecue Safety For Your Pup!

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    The weather is warm, the sun is shining, sounds like a perfect time to cook up some delicious food and invite your friends over! However, a typical barbecue can be an unsafe place for dogs. Here are some things to keep in mind when celebrating the sunshine this summer.

    Keep Your Dogs Away From The Grill

    The actual Barbecue itself can be an unsafe place for your dog be around. Not only can it be extremely hot, but the proximity of propane tanks and sharp barbecue tools not the best place for your dog to be roaming. Create a barrier between your pup and the barbecue or try to give your dog something more fun to do like chasing a ball or playing with a toy.

    Watch For Hazardous Foods

    Possibly the biggest hazard to your dog at any BBQ is the food that is being served. Dogs naturally flock to food, but there’s a lot of food at a barbecue that can make your dog sick. Be sure to avoid foods with bones (steak, ribs, chicken, etc.) also keep away corn cobs, onions and chocolate. Bones can cause your dog to choke or perforate their bowl, onions (and many other foods) are toxic to dogs and corn cobs can cause a bowel obstruction. Chocolate is a classic dessert food and it can be fatal to your pooch. Even foods that are dog safe can cause harm when they’re hot off the grill and may burn your dog’s mouth.

    Keep An Eye On The Garbage

    Just because you’ve gotten this far by hiding the food, doesn’t mean they won’t work hard to find it in the trashcan. Make sure you have a waste bin with a lid and that the trash is in a somewhat hidden place from your dog.

  • This 4th Of July, Make Sure Your Pets Aren’t Stressed!

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    Did you know that the fourth of July is the biggest day for pet stress? In fact, shelters report the largest amount of runaway pets on this day due to stress caused by fireworks, large crowds and unfamiliar environments. Loud noises from fireworks can be frightening to anyone, but especially to our pets that have a heightened sense of hearing. They may panic, feel anxious, bark uncontrollably, chew through leashes, dig under fences & run away, claw destructively, suffer seizures, or run into traffic trying to escape the scary sounds. Don’t let this happen to your pet.

    In addition to having a ThunderShirt, to provide a gentle constant pressure to dramatically calm you pet, here are some more things to keep in mind:

    1. Pet ID. Make sure your pet has up-to-date identification in case he/she runs away when scared by noisy fireworks. ID can help your pet be returned to you safely.

    2. Avoid Fireworks. Don’t take your pet to events that involve fireworks. Your pet is better off being left home if you are going to partake in firework festivities.

    3. Crate Your Dog. If you regularly crate your dog, he/she may find the crate a place of comfort during fireworks. Make sure his favorite toy is available for further distraction.

    4. Don’t Leave Pets Outside. Keep pets inside as much as possible during fireworks displays. The insulation of your home will help drown out the noise and make your dog feel more secure.

    5. Don’t Scold a Scared Pet. This will scare and confuse a dog and reinforce fearful behaviors.

    For more information about ThunderShirt, visit their product page HERE. Have a safe and happy Fourth of July, everyone!

  • Tips To Keep Your Dog COOL And SAFE This Summer!

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    Summer is just a week away and for many areas throughout the United States, the temperatures, they are a rising!

    We looked to our friends at the Humane Society of the United States for some tips to follow to keep our pets cool this summer:

    #1: Never leave your pets in a parked car

    Not even for a minute. Not even with the car running and air conditioner on. On a warm day, temperatures inside a vehicle can rise rapidly to dangerous levels. On an 85-degree day, for example, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees. Your pet may suffer irreversible organ damage or die.

    #2 Watch the humidity

    It's important to remember that it's not just the ambient temperature but also the humidity that can affect your pet. Animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes heat away from their body. If the humidity is too high, they are unable to cool themselves, and their temperature will skyrocket to dangerous levels—very quickly.

    #4 Take your dog’s temperature

    Taking a dog's temperature will quickly tell you if there is a serious problem. Dogs' temperatures should not be allowed to get over 104 degrees. If your dog's temperature does, follow the instructions for treating heat stroke.

    #3 Limit exercise on hot days

    Take care when exercising your pet. Adjust intensity and duration of exercise in accordance with the temperature. On very hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours, and be especially careful with pets with white-colored ears, who are more susceptible to skin cancer, and short-nosed pets, who typically have difficulty breathing. Asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet's paws, so walk your dog on the grass if possible. Always carry water with you to keep your dog from dehydrating.

    #5 Don't rely on a fan

    Pets respond differently to heat than humans do. (Dogs, for instance, sweat primarily through their feet.) And fans don't cool off pets as effectively as they do people.

    #6 Provide ample shade and water

    Any time your pet is outside, make sure he or she has protection from heat and sun and plenty of fresh, cold water. In heat waves, add ice to water when possible. Tree shade and tarps are ideal because they don't obstruct airflow. A doghouse does not provide relief from heat—in fact, it makes it worse.

    #7 Cool your pet inside and out

    Freeze some pet-safe foods like peanut butter or wet dog food to make a cool appetizing treat. Always provide water, whether your pets are inside or out with you.

    #8 Watch for signs of heatstroke

    Extreme temperatures can cause heatstroke. Some signs of heatstroke are heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure, and unconsciousness. Animals are at particular risk for heat stroke if they are very old, very young, overweight, not conditioned to prolonged exercise, or have heart or respiratory disease. Some breeds of dogs—like boxers, pugs, shih tzus, and other dogs and cats with short muzzles—will have a much harder time breathing in extreme heat. If you think your pet is suffering from heat stoke, apply ice packs or cooled towels to their head, and offer small amounts of cold water- consult your veterinarian immediately.

    We hope these tips help you keep your furry friend cool, and most importantly SAFE this summer!

  • June is National Pet Preparedness Month!

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    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.

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    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.

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