MVA Monthly Mouthful – October/November 2019
By: Alyssa Mages, BS, CVT / Development and Education Coordinator
As the weather is – finally – starting to turn cooler, the leaves are turning from green to reds, golds, and browns, our thoughts are also turning towards upcoming festivities – Halloween at the end of this month, and right around the corner heading into Thanksgiving.
Now, we’ve discussed the concerns for our furry family members eating things they shouldn’t before, so this year I’d like to highlight another topic that is equally important – fear and/or stress.
Halloween brings costumes and a night of constant activity at the front door, which for our kitties tends to not be an issue as they’re usually more adept at hiding away. However, that may not be the case if you have a curious kitten, or an indoor/outdoor cat – so it’s worth considering either keeping these family members inside on 10/31, and ideally in a separate room that’s far away from the open/shut door from our Trick-or-Treaters. If your cat is really having a difficult time, it may be worth looking into additional stress relief in the form of pheromone calming spray/diffusers, or oral medications but this is a conversation to have with your pet’s doctor well in advance of the arrival of superheroes, ghosts, & other spooky guests!
Our canine companions tend to be more out and about in general, and in some cases much more agitated on this Spooktacular night with the added noise/excitement, and constant ebb & flow of activity in the entry to their domain. If your pooch is prone to reactive behavior (barking, frenzied activity/bolting, etc.), please also consider either crating them or keeping them in an area or room of your home far away from the hustle & bustle. In some extreme cases it may be beneficial to have additional support – pheromone calming spray/diffusers, or oral medications to take the edge off, but please do not implement ANY of these agents without talking to your veterinarian first.
Whew, the haunting is over and now we can relax…or not! Holiday times are stressful for us as humans, and our furry family members not only pick up on this but have stressors of their own. The hecticness of prepping the home, traveling to and from, people in and out, being told “NO, not for you!” so often, can really take its toll on both our canine & feline companions.
If you don’t already have an established routine, start working one out – meals at this time, walks at that time, play time now and/or later, snacks here, snuggle time there – and touch base with your veterinarian or a trainer to see if there are any other helpful tips to getting your pets regulated with a simple schedule.
Should this not work, and it may not – there are other options to keep in mind. Working with a boarded behaviorist for more advanced interventional options, taking your pets to a certified boarding facility to take the worry factor of where your furry family member is, and making sure you have a very open & honest conversation with your human family members about how your pets are needing to be approached so that way everyone is on the same page are all great methods to further ensure the comfort and happiness of your pets, which in turn will alleviate your stress – win, win!
Autumn is one of the loveliest times of the year in PA, and we want to ensure it stays that way for you and your furry family members, so remember if you have any questions or concerns, we not only have a boarded behaviorist on our team, but our ER docs & nurses are available for you and your pets 24/7/365.
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