We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.

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Fireworks and Your Pup

It’s that time of year again when your dog will be exposed to the frightening sounds of fireworks. While some dogs may not be bothered by fireworks, others can become very scared, try to hide or even flee. As pet owners, it’s our responsibility to keep our pets safe. Here are a few tips and tricks on getting your pet ready for the big bang.

Desensitize your dog.
This process may be easier if you have a brand new puppy, but could also be done with your older dog. With young or older dogs, you will start by getting them used to loud sounds. Always start small and work your way up. Start by clapping hands, stomping feet, hitting pots and pans, then progress to playing sounds of fireworks on your TV or computer, increasing the volume over time. May sure to associate those loud sounds with something good, i.e. a yummy meal or treat, a favourite toy, or lots of attention.

Prepare for the fireworks.
If you know your dog becomes stressed and fearful during fireworks, it’s best to be prepared. Make sure you know when your city or community plan on setting off fireworks. When the day finally comes, make sure to keep your dog inside when the fireworks are planned as you don’t want your dog to panic and try to escape your backyard. It’s best to keep your dog confined to a small area of the house, or if they enjoy and find their kennel a safe place, then kenneling your dog is also an option.

Try playing music, your favourite TV show, fans, or even white noise in the area of your house where you plan on keeping your pet. Make sure to be there for your pet. They may look to you as a safe place and find comfort in being close to you. For those food motivated pups, try cooking a yummy meal, have a favourite chew toy, or some special treats to try to keep your dog distracted when the fireworks start.

Try some calming aids.
Luckily there are a few things out there that have been known to help decrease stress with your pet. From compression shirts, tasty chewable tablets, pheromone collars, diffusers, and room sprays, here are three options you can try for your pet.

  1. Adaptil – Adaptil is a synthetic form of a natural pheromone that nursing mother dogs produce. This dog-appeasing pheromone helps their puppies feel safe and secure. Adaptil is proven to help calm and comfort dogs in new or challenging situations and help reduce stress. Adaptil comes in 3 different products; a diffuser, collar or spray. The best option for fireworks and other loud noises (i.e. thunderstorms) would be to use the diffuser, which plugs into your wall. You would need to start using it at least 24 hours before the event, but for added support, you could use the room spay in addition to the diffuser.
  2. Solliquin – Solliquin is a behavioural health supplement in a tasty chewable tablet and soft chew. It’s designed for both dog and cats and helps support normal behaviour and aid in a calming effect. The combination of L-theanine, Magnolia and Phellodendron extracts and whey protein concentrate block the receptors that cause excitement and enhance the release of calming factors.  It’s recommended that your dog takes on Solliquin for an initial dose for 30-45 days, so would need to be started at least 30 days before the fireworks are planned. Depending on weight, your dog would get 1-2 tablets/chews per day.
  3. Thundershirts – The idea behind thundershirts is that it provides a gentle and constant pressure against a dog’s (or cat’s) torso similar to swaddling a baby. It has been used in people for many years to help calm and treat anxiety.

Hopefully, you are more prepared to help your pet deal with the stress and anxiety that can come with fireworks. Just remember that it’s common for dogs to have some level of anxiety when it comes with fireworks, so preparation, distraction and love are always a good idea.

Give us a call if you have any questions!

Written by: Leah Christiansen, Client Care Specialist

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COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.

1. We are currently operating a "closed door" policy to protect our clients and staff. This means that clients will not be allowed to enter the building. When you arrive in our parking lot, please remain in your vehicle and call us at 403-948-2733. Our staff will come to you to collect your animal for their appointment. If you do not have a phone, or if your animal is experiencing an emergency, please knock on the door to alert our staff.

2. We are still OPEN with the following hours: Monday to Friday: 9:30 am - 4:00 pm and Saturday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm.

3. At this time, appointments will only be booked when medically necessary. Any non-urgent appointment requests will be temporarily postponed. If you have an emergency that requires immediate attention, please proceed directly to McKnight 24 Hour Veterinary Hospital at 5010 – 4th Street NE, Calgary, AB and call 403-457-0911 to alert them of your arrival.

4. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 2-4 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will bring your order to your car. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home. To sign up for the Online Store, please visit our website.

5. For the time being, credit cards are the preferred payment method. Debit cannot be accepted over the phone, but is available at time of pick up if ABSOLUTELY necessary. We will not be able to accept cash.

Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our jobs. We have taken these measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus.

Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid, and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

- Your dedicated team at Airdrie Animal Health Centre