Pet Tip Tuesday- Summer Phobias

Dr. Megan Okes joins us live in the studio with our Pet Tip Tuesday. This weeks topic is Summer Phobias.

Summer Phobias


- Dogs more affected than cats

- Thunderstorms, Fireworks, car rides, boating


What kind of behavior would I see if my pet is scared?

-          Varies in severity

-          Hiding- especially cats

-          Running

-          Vocalizing

-          Digging or other destructive behaviors


How do we help our pets with these fears?

-          Exposure decreases sensitivity- gradually increase (if possible)

-          Reassure with calm voice and petting

-          Keep in a quiet, dark, isolated location (basement, bathroom) to lessen sound and stimulation

-          Crates work well to keep pets safe


Anything else that you would recommend before medication?

-          New “thundershirt”- constant pressure like a hug to comfort your pet when you are not home


What about more severe fears- are there medications?

-          YES… we typically try to modify behavior first

-          Feliway and DAP (dog appeasing pheromone)

-          Benedryl

-          Behavior modifying drugs


**The downfall of SOME medications is that they need to be given weeks before to be effective, or 30-45 minutes before anxiety producing situation. 

-          Can’t predict thunderstorms or fireworks