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Remember Your Pets During Lightning Safety Awareness Week

Thursday, May 28, 2015  
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Phoenix, AZ – May 28, 2015 – With summer monsoon season approaching, the Arizona Veterinary Medical Association (AzVMA) encourages pet owners to observe National Lightning Safety Awareness Week, June 21-27, by planning ahead to protect pets during storms.

             Pets left outside during a storm are at risk for lightning injuries.  At the first sound of thunder, pet owners should seek shelter for themselves and their pets in fully enclosed buildings.  Ideally, provide a safe indoor area, such as a crate, with the crate door left open so the pet does not feel trapped. You can cover the crate with a sheet, and play calming music to drown out the thunder,” says Dr. Adriana Stinnett, DVM, of Cave Creek.  “Distract your dog with treats and games. Sometimes, closing the blinds or curtains can take away the visual aspect of the storm. Use a calm tone to reassure your pet,” she adds.

              In addition to the physical dangers to pets, owners are often faced with a pet’s storm phobia.  Dr. Stinnett suggests, “ThunderShirts™ provide a sensation of pressure, which can help reduce anxiety. This is similar to swaddling a baby.  If storm anxiety worsens over time despite medication and other calming procedures, consider a consultation with a Board Certified Veterinary Behaviorist.” 

              National Lightning Safety Awareness Week was introduced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  Call the AzVMA at 602-242-7936 for more information.  The Arizona Veterinary Medical Association is a membership organization representing over 2,000 veterinary professionals in the state of Arizona.

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