Happy New Years Eve..... Not so Happy for our pets!

Across summer in Townsville is the time we have the most Storms and Fireworks. We humans often love the spectacle that these events display but for our pets it is often a different story.

Townsville vet clinics are often inundated with stray dogs being brought into our clinics the day following one of these events, be it mother nature or man made. We take great care to reunite these pets with their owners. Often there are repeat offenders but there are lots of things you can do.

Some dogs are very afraid in situations where there are loud noises and bright lights. Thunderstorms and Fireworks are a common trigger for anxiety.

Behaviours that are associated with storm/fireworks phobia are:

  • Excessive barking.
  • Scared body language.
  • Urination inside.
  • Destructive behaviours trying to get inside (destroying doors or windows).
  • Escaping from the yard in fear.
  • Pacing, panting and drooling.


Tips for times when fireworks/storms make your dog scared.

  • Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise earlier in the day.
  • Keep your dog inside during fireworks or storms, preferably with human companionship.
  • Provide a safe place inside for your dogs to retreat.
  • When scared of sounds they can’t orient, dogs often prefer small enclosed areas. If your dog is comfortable in a crate, that is a good option. If your dog is small enough a cardboard box on its side is a cheap option.
  • If possible, keep the windows and curtains closed. Cover the crate. Removing visual stimulation can also help to calm dogs.
  • Give your dog something that smells like you (an old yard shirt).
  • Make sure all your dogs are wearing ID tags with a properly fitting collar.
  • Make sure your microchip details are up to date in cas of escapees.
  • Play some music, radio, white noise to help distract them.
  • Give your dog something fun to do- like a frozen Kong filled with their favourite treats.
  • Use a “thundershirt” or anxiety wrap to help calm them.
  • If your dog is extremely anxious and fearful, please call us for an appointment to discuss possible medications to help calm your dog during this time.



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