Jun 28 2018

Thunderstorms and Fireworks

image for Thunderstorms and Fireworks

As summer swings into full gear it’s a good time to consider the effects of the booming noise from fireworks and thunderstorms on dogs.

The afternoon rumbling off in the distance confirms the onset of another round of thunderstorms. Some dogs don’t seem to be bothered by them, while others hide, bark, or seek comfort from their owners. As we busily prepare for Canada Day and the Fourth of July celebrations, it’s important to consider that the noise created by fireworks is similar to that of thunderstorms when they roll through.

Fear of loud noises is common in dogs and arises from their natural instinct to survive. When they face a threatening situation (strange sound, animal, or person, etc.), fear is nature’s way of protecting them from harm. The dog’s fear alerts him to potential danger and stimulates a “fight or flight” response to keep him safe by either approaching the danger or fleeing from it.

The problem is that some dogs have an excessive fear of thunderstorms and develop a phobia. These dogs react adversely to the noise but also to the associated lightning, change in barometric pressure, windy conditions, and darkening sky. When thunder-phobic dogs get really scared, they act out.

There are steps you can take to deal with thunderstorm (and fireworks) phobia.

  • Provide “white noise” for your dog with a white noise machine or fan, or simply turn on the radio or television.
  • Take your dog to the most soundproof area of your home, like your basement or an inner room. Turn on the radio or white noise machine in this room. Provide your dog with his bed and favorite toy and keep a water dish in the room while in there.
  • Consider using a dog crate. If your dog enjoys being in his crate, move it to a quiet inner room or cover it with blankets. The blankets will help to block the light show created by lightning and muffle the sound of the storm or fireworks.
  • Distract your dog with toys, or treats in a Kong toy to keep him preoccupied.
  • Try to desensitize your dog to storms. Instead of following the above steps only when it storms, let your dog experience the “safe room” between storms too.
  • Some dogs respond well to “swaddling,” much as newborn babies do. Many dogs feel secure when placed in a weighted dog vest or anti-anxiety wrap – ask your veterinarian about these options.
  • Never set fireworks off near your dog – leave him at home.

Don’t let summer thunderstorms and patriotic festivities agitate your dog. Take some time to prepare him for the inevitable “booms” that will happen this summer!

LifeLearn News

Note: This article, written by LifeLearn Animal Health (LifeLearn Inc.) is licensed to this practice for the personal use of our clients. Any copying, printing or further distribution is prohibited without the express written permission of Lifelearn. Please note that the news information presented here is NOT a substitute for a proper consultation and/or clinical examination of your pet by a veterinarian.

We won!!

That makes 12 years in a row you've voted us "Best of Suffolk/Franklin/Isle of Wight"! Thank you for all your votes - we appreciate every single one of them. We will work hard to earn your vote again next year

Companion Therapy Laser

Harbour Veterinary Office is very concerned about pain management in pets. Because of this concern we have added the latest technology for the treatment of joint and soft tissue pain, the Companion Therapy Laser. This Laser introduces heat and light to the deepest tissues, which then reduces pain and swelling. This encourages the animal's own healing processes. The Laser is used routinely following every surgery, as well as for countless other applications. Virtually any painful condition can be made less painful with this therapy. Treatments last only minutes per site and require no anesthesia. Your pet will be very comfortable as this laser produces only slight warmth in the inflamed tissue. Laser Therapy for chronic conditions -ie.. arthritis - usually require 6 treatments to get your pet to a much more tolerable state. Booster treatments are then required every 4 to 12 weeks to maintain the reduced pain. If your pet is currently on a medication to reduce swelling and/or pain, this treatment may reduce or eliminate the need for oral medications. Please ask for more information from anyone on our staff, or go to the The Companion Therapy Laser website, in the Links section of our website.

Location Hours
Monday8:00am – 6:00pm
Tuesday8:00am – 7:00pm
Wednesday8:00am – 6:00pm
Thursday8:00am – 7:00pm
Friday8:00am – 6:00pm
Saturday8:00am – 12:00pm

Emergency Process
For after-hours emergency information, please call 935-9111 this is the number for the emergency clinic in Northern Suffolk called The Cove. Or please call 366 - 9000. This is the number for the emergency clinic located adjacent to Greenbrier Mall.