Dogs are no different to people, and they can suffer from a variety ofphysical health aliments, just like us. It is therefore important to rememberthat they can also suffer from a variety of mental health issues as well, suchas anxiety, dementia, and phobias.

It is particularly important at this very busy time of year, when you pet mayneed to be away from you in a boarding facility, or at home with you wherethey can become overwhelmed with lots of visitors and changes to the routinethroughout the holiday period.

A phobia is anything that results in an uncontrollable fear reaction, oftenresulting in extreme behaviour. It may not always be possible to determinewhat caused the phobia in the first place, in-fact it is thought to often bean inherited trait. The important thing is to know how to recognise a phobiain your pet, and then take steps to ensure your pets safety if a trigger eventoccurs to create a reaction. Often, these phobias are related to loud noiseevents, such as fire-works or thunder, but many other phobias can develop,such as situational phobias or a fear of strangers.

If your pet has a tendency for extreme behaviour that is always triggered bythe same event, then this means you can identify the cause of their phobia.For example, if a thunderstorm always causes your dog to bolt from you, hide,shake, bark, or exhibit dangerous behaviour that could result in them injuringthemselves, then you can be pro-active in knowing that your pet may need someassistance prior to the arrival of a storm to ensure their safety.

With plenty of fireworks happening over the New Year celebration period, keepin mind your pets security and safety if you know that they are likely toreact. If they are staying away from you, let the Pet Resort know that theyhave a phobia of loud noises or Fireworks, or if their reaction is oftenextreme, consider talking to your veterinarian prior to boarding so that theycan discuss the various options to help keep them calm. If they are stayinghome over the holiday period, be sure to secure your pet safely where theycannot escape from your property, and check on the regularly to make sure theyhave not injured themselves during a reaction to a known phobia.

Seeking advice from your veterinarian is the best place to start. They willlisten to you describe the phobia trigger and your pet’s reaction, and thendetermine what the best course of action is to ensure your pet’s safety.

Provided by Australian Pet Care Association (APCA) – Become a member with usat orcontact us anytime by emailing [email protected]

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