Ask the Experts: Noise Phobias in Pets

More often than not, when we think about our pet’s health, we tend to consider their physical health. However, our pets can experience stress and anxiety the same way we do! I had the chance to chat with our team of technicians to discuss how you can manage specifically noise phobias and anxiety in your pet.phobias

Q. Can dogs and cats have noise phobia? What does this look like in my pet?

Diana: Dogs and cats can absolutely have phobias and anxiety, to noise and a variety of other things. Noise phobias can occur during events in which loud noises occur frequently and unexpectedly – such as holiday fireworks or thunderstorms. Pets experiencing noise phobias may hide, vocalize loudly, drool, shake, and inappropriate urinate / defecate in the house due to fear.

Q. That sounds very stressful for the pet! Are there any options for treating these fears so that my pet is more comfortable during these situations?

Meaghan: There are lots of over the counter options for both dogs and cats! For dogs, Therabite mellows contain natural ingredients that help curb anxiety in pets – and they’re given as treats so they’re super easy to administer! Another option for dogs and cats is Zylkene, a pill that also contains calming ingredients. If pills and treats aren’t your thing, the Thundershirt has had excellent feedback from our clients! This shirt has sizes for dogs and cats and simulates a “big hug”, the tight contact reducing stress via pressure points instead of having to give your pet pills.

Sadie: Don’t forget about Adaptil and Feliway. These are another great drug free choice for relieving anxiety, and are species specific. Both release calming pheromones into the environment – through a diffuser, spray or wipes.

Q. These sounds like great options, but I have to ask – what if they aren’t enough?

Rachel: If you give these options a try and your pet is still experiencing phobic behaviours – which are stressful for both the owner and the pet – you can always book a behavioural consult with our veterinarians. There are prescription options as well that can be explored under the guidance and supervision of a vet. If alternative therapies are of interest, we can always work with Dr. Butler to see if any of our herbal options will be beneficial to your pet.

Canine Body Language

It is extremely important for everyone to learn how to read a dog’s body language whether they are an owner or not.

Happy DogSigns of a Happy Dog:

  • Relaxed body position
  • One paw tucked underneath body
  • Tail wag rapidly or thumping on the floor
  • Play bow
  • Panting, happy expression

Anxiety dogSigns of Anxiety:

  • Raising of one paw
  • Half moon eyes
  • Tail between legs, may or may not wag
  • Sideways ears or ears back
  • Rapid panting
  • Submissive urinating

bite soon dogSigns of Imminent Bite:

  • Dog becomes suddenly stiff
  • Front legs splayed, head low
  • Lip curl, teeth showing

Agressive dogSigns of Dog Aggression:

  • Growling/Snarling
  • Snapping
  • Guarding (owners, food, toys)
  • Aggressive barking
  • Lunging on or off a leash

For more information please visit

Meaghan RVT

Springtime Means Puppy Season!

Along with fresh air and sunshine Spring can also bring along the patter of four new little feet into your house! We see many new puppies over the Spring and Summer months which makes it one of our favourite seasons. If you have a new little furry bundle of joy here are some great products to keep your puppy happy and healthy!bath stuff

Earthbath Puppy Shampoo, Wipes and Spritz are all made to be tearless and gentle on new puppy’s skin. Nylabone Puppy Chews and Kong Puppy Toys are an excellent way to entertain your puppy and satisfy their need to chew everything in sight. Rope toys are a perfect way to clean your puppy’s teeth as well as give them something safe to play with. Of course you also need a Squeeky Toy to provide hours of entertainment and the Puppy Teether Toy is a great one to start with!

through a dogs ear


For those solo times in the crate we offer the Music to Calm Your Puppy CD which has been clinically proven to reduce stress levels in puppies. $4.40-$17.49 at Guelph Animal Hospital’s Boutique.




Come in with your puppy to try them out today!

Sara, Boutique Specialist

What To Do If Your Dog Is Hit By Car

bigstock-Pet-First-Aid-14539931Unfortunately from time to time you end up in the tough situation of dealing with an animal that has been hit by a car.  The following is how to best respond in this situation.

1. Start by keeping calm, not only for your sake but for the pet as well. Animals can sense your stress and this will only make their anxiety about what has happened worse. So take a moment to take a few deep breaths and focus on what needs to be done

2. Assess the situation, is it safe for you?  Is the animal still in harm’s way?  Do you need a backup person?  Watch for traffic before running to help, and get the animal to a safe spot out of danger.

3. How bad is the situation, is the animal able to get up and walk or is it lying in distress. Every hit by car incident is different and luckily many animals make it out with only minor injuries. Regardless of how bad it appears, you should always treat it as an emergency and have the pet checked by a professional ASAP.

4. Call for help, if back up is needed make the call, having an extra person to help with lifting will be beneficial. Also, depending on the severity, you should contact your local humane society or animal control, since they are equipped to deal with these situations. Even after hours their answering machine should have an emergency number. If you are prepared to deal with the situation on your own make sure to contact your local Veterinary clinic to let them know you are on your way and make sure they are open

5. Take Caution; be very careful when handling animals in these situations. Shock and pain can often cause them to bite or scratch in an attempt to protect themselves (this even applies to your own pet). Use a large blanket, towel or jacket to drape over the pet and act as a protective barrier for you. If you have protective gloves handy you can use them as well. You can also create a make-shift muzzle out of a long string or piece of cloth by wrapping it around the snout twice then tying it behind their head.

6. Prepare to transfer them to the Veterinary Hospital. If there is a large amount of bleeding coming from a wound, cover it with a clean cloth and apply gentle pressure. When moving the animal try to keep them as still as possible to prevent moving a possibly SC-033-0112broken limb or spine.  Supporting them on a stiff board or wrapping them in a blanket will be helpful. Do your best to confine the animal during the drive.

7. When you arrive at the hospital, or when animal control arrives on scene leave it up to them. Depending on the extent of the injuries the animal may or may not need to be admitted to the hospital for a medical work up and

Know that we are here to help.  If your pet has been hit by a car, you do not need to schedule an appointment.  Call us to let us know you’re on the way, and head straight in.

Stacey Strauss RVT

Spring Toxins For Your Pet

Everyone looks forward to Spring, including our pets.  It’s that time of year when curiosity can get the better of cats and dogs after being inside for so long.  As we celebrate Easter and take life outside, it’s best to be mindful of the potential hazards for our pets.

Gardening and Spring Cleaning can expose our pets to toxins.  Fertilizers such as blood118551815-632x353-dog-with-cleaning-products meal, iron, and rose & plant, pose a risk if our pets ingest them.  And always be aware of where your pet is when using pesticides and insecticides.  Remember that buckets of cleaning product can look a lot like a water bowl and the smell of them is not necessarily unpleasant to our pets.

Whether inside or outside, plants that can be hazardous include: Lilies, Tulip Bulbs, Hyacinth, Daffodil, Crocus, and Lily-of-the-Valley.Dog-in-Garden - Copy

Easter is a holiday where we need to be especially aware of our pets and remember to “child-proof” for their safety.  Potential hazards include: Decorative Easter “Grass”, Chocolate, Easter Lilies, Xylitol (sweetener commonly found in candies)  For more information visit: Pet Poison Helpline  or Animal Posion Control

Watch for signs of vomiting, diarrhea, seizures and any other abnormal behaviour.  Ingesting a toxin can lead to liver and/or kidney failure, pancreatitis, internal bleeding, and gastrointestinal upset.  If you fear your pet may have ingested a toxin, please call Guelph Animal Hospital right away to see your veterinarian 519-836-2782 or call the ASPCA Poison Control Helpline (888) 426-4435.  

Kimberley Janes, CCS