With summer here and the 4th of July around the corner, this is certainly a very festive time for families across America; however, with the warmer months and holiday times, also come the sounds and noises of thunderstorms and fireworks that sometimes may petrify our feline and canine companions. Anxious behaviors may include restlessness, panting, pacing, vocalizing, as well as inappropriate defecation and urination in the home.
While certain pets may be comforted by holding them close, pet behaviors can be unpredictable. Some pets prefer to hide out in dark and remote areas of the home, while others try to escape from the home. Such behavior may lead to accidental bodily injury as well. It is for these reasons that some pets may need medical therapies to reduce agitation and anxiety.
One of the more effective natural supplements I have found for reducing anxiety is the supplement L-theanine, which is a natural amino acid that has a direct calming effect on the brain very similar to benzodiazepine-type drugs. This amino acid is present in the supplements Composure from Vetri Science and Anxitane from Virbac.
This is also an excellent time of year to be working with a trainer on behavior modification techniques, which include playing recordings of gradually increasing volumes of summer noises and storms, while working with reassuring the pet during these training periods. Using a combination of these approaches will often allow the summer season to be one that is more enjoyable and less stressful for both guardian and animal companionAlong with the L-theanine products, I will often use the calming agents known as Bach Flower essences, which include Rescue remedy, Aspen and Mimulus, as well as the excellent combination essence product called Be Serene. On occasion, prescription drugs are necessary such as acepromazine and Xanax.