Warning Signs and What to do About Pet Anxiety

A few months ago I was on the road with my fiancée, her sister and their two dogs.  We made the mandatory stop at a coffee shop.  The girls went inside and I stayed in the car to keep the dogs company.  As soon as the girls left the vehicle, the dogs began crying and barking.  Later, they told me that the dogs destroy things any time they leave the apartment.  This concerned them so they took the puppies to the veterinarian.  The doctor diagnosed them with anxiety and developed a treatment plan.  Our pets cannot talk to us, so it is our responsibility to listen to their nonverbal cues and help them when needed.

Warning Signs of Pet Anxiety

Dogs

  • Barking/howling
  • Shivering
  • Pacing
  • Escaping the yard
  • Destroying furniture

Cats

  • Failing to use the litter box
  • Following people around the house
  • Aggression
  • Increased lethargy
  • Excessive vocalization

 

How to Manage Pet Anxiety

A trip to the veterinarian is always a good idea when your pet is displaying irregular behavior.  There are also some things that you can do at home to alleviate your pet’s anxiety.

Go For Walks

Excess energy can make anxiety worse.  Going for a walk will help to burn off some of that energy.  It is also a great way to bond with your pet and let them know how much you care.  Exercise is also good for human mental health.

Physical Touch

Animals, like humans, need connection.  Think about newborn puppies or kittens.  They usually have plenty of space at their disposal.  Still, they group together.  Contact is soothing.  If your pet is displaying signs of anxiety, pet them and give them a big hug.  However, signs of aggression mean that they need plenty of space for everyone’s safety.

Time-Out

When stressed, all we or our pets might need is some time to ourselves.  It’s important to remember that this isn’t a punishment.  You’re allowing your friend the time and space they need to calm down.  If your pet is fond of a crate, this is a good space.  Or maybe you can just put them in your room with low light and some music.  A calming space can work wonders.

Music Therapy

Sensitivity to sound is yet another trait that humans and pets have in common.  Have you ever noticed that listening to the right song can ease the tension in your body?  Well, it works for pets too.  Classical music has proven to help with anxiety in pets.  It can be used to block out alarming noises like fireworks and street sounds.  Just be mindful of the volume and selection of music.  Heavy metal may help you, but it probably isn’t the best choice for your pets.

Rover’s Recess wishes you and your pets good mental health.  Remember, patience and understanding are the best tools for a stressful situation.  Please continue to follow our blog and give us a call for your pet sitting needs.

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