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How to Help Your Pet Through Thunderstorms

A big part of our summers here in Alberta are watching the crazy thunderstorms that take place! Unfortunately, for many pets, this can be a terrifying experience. There are several measures we can take to ensure our pets have the least stressful experience possible.

Thundershirts act as a calming mechanism that can help ease your pet’s anxiety, during times of stress. The shirt is designed to fit very snuggly to calm the animal. Imagine how a good hug can ease our stress and anxiety, the same concept is being applied to the use of a Thundershirt. When a storm is forecasted, we will put our very own clinic cat, Carrots, into his thunder shirt since he is terrified of storms!

Ensuring your pet has a place to go that they can feel safe during a storm can make a huge difference in your pet’s experience. Whether this is a bedroom, the basement, or a safe place on the couch, get your pet into the routine of heading to this place, when they are feeling anxious or afraid. Using our example of Carrots again, once we realized he needed a safe place to hide, we made him a thunder cave. This is just a kennel with the door taken off with fluffy blankets inside. We placed it in a dark, quiet area that he previously hid in, so he already feels safe there. We introduced it before a storm, so that he knew it was there and now he puts himself in there whenever he feels the need to hide from a storm.

There are also a couple over the counter products that can be used as an aid to control your pet’s anxiety; specifically, Feliway for cats, and Adaptil for dogs. These products secrete pheromones to help calm your pet. Feliway is available in a spray or diffuser, whereas Adaptil is available in a spray, diffuser and collar. These products can be used for many other stressful situations as well. We use them in the clinic ourselves, when we know someone needs a little extra stress relief.

Lastly, some prescription products can be discussed with your veterinarian to help ease your pet’s anxiety. These can be used as an adjunct to other methods of calming and hopefully, not as the sole method of controlling your pet’s anxiety. The details and options of these can be discussed with your veterinary health team.

Written by Jessica Sirovyak, RAHT

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Last updated: May 25, 2020

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective May 25, 2020 the restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted. Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.

1. WE CAN NOW SEE ALL CASES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!

2. SAFETY MEASURES TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE

3. ONLINE CONSULTATIONS ARE AVAILABLE

If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.

4. NEW PET OWNERS

Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.

5. OPERATING HOURS

We are OPEN with the following hours:

- Monday to Friday: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
- Saturday: 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
Sunday: CLOSED

Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

- Your dedicated team at Mill Creek Animal Hospital