Pet anxiety: What makes your pet anxious & what you can do to help!

Do you dread going to work in the morning because your dog starts howling as soon as you close the door? Thunder and lightning, fireworks and even the sound of the vacuum makes your kitty or pooch run for cover.

It is quite common for dogs and cats to become anxious and fearful in certain situations. They may even exhibit destructive behaviour like destroying your couch or digging up your garden when they feel frightened or in a panic.

As pet owners, we don’t always understand our dog or cat’s behaviour and that’s why it’s important to know what makes them anxious and how you can help them.

Why is my pet anxious?

Like people, some dogs and cats are naturally anxious. Being nervous, fearful and anxious is part of their general disposition. If you’ve had your cat since a kitten and she still struggles every time you pick her up, that’s probably not going to change.

Dogs and cats will become anxious and exhibit fearful behaviour as a result of various situations such as noise phobias, storms, separation anxiety or aggression.

When your pet finds herself in a situation that is frightening, anxiety and stress increases and then they remember that unpleasant experience. When that unpleasant experience recurs, your dog or cat is not sure what to do and adopts the “fight or flight” response. This type of behaviour may be expressed through urinating indoors, destroying furniture or clothing, barking constantly or licking or grooming excessively  all in an effort to try and control their anxiety.

If anxiety, stress or fear becomes chronic or worsens, and is left untreated, it can affect your pet’s physical and emotional wellbeing.
HAVE A QUESTION related to your pet?
E-mail the PetAlive team FREE of charge for advice, click here -     

What makes my pet anxious?

There are number of reasons which may cause anxiety in your pet and it is always helpful to know the source of the problem.
• Loud noises (fireworks, cars, machinery, alarms, guns)
• Storm phobias (thunder and lightning)
• Separation anxiety
• Being confined
• Unfamiliar people (visitors, new baby, children)
• Unfamiliar places
• Travelling in a car
• Visits to the vet
• Boarding kennels
• Other pets or animals
HAVE A QUESTION related to your pet?
E-mail the PetAlive team FREE of charge for advice, click here -     

What can I do to help my pet?

There are ways to reduce anxiety, fear and stress in pets.

1. Exercise

Exercise is a great way to relieve stress for both humans and dogs too. Don’t you feel great after a good work-out or run? Imagine, how good your pooch will feel? Exercise releases feel-good chemicals which helps to work off pent-up energy, stress and tension.

Make time every day to take your dog for a walk or run to relieve nervous tension, hyperactivity or separation anxiety. If you exercise your dog regularly, you will note a significant difference in their anxiety and stress levels, and overall demeanour.
HAVE A QUESTION related to your pet?
E-mail the PetAlive team FREE of charge for advice, click here -      

2. Reduce environmental stress

It is very important to maintain a regular schedule for pets, even more so for anxious pets. Keep your cat or dog’s feeding, play, exercise and social times consistent.

Think of them like children – children like routine and flourish best when set routines are in place. As far as possible, try to come home at the same time every day if your pet suffers from separation anxiety.

Leave the radio or TV on for lonely kitties or doggies, and provide toys to keep them entertained.
HAVE A QUESTION related to your pet?
E-mail the PetAlive team FREE of charge for advice, click here -     

3.  Distract your pet

If certain situations such as thunder, lightning or fireworks upset or make your dog or cat anxious, then use distraction to take the focus off what is scaring him.

Distract dogs with treats or toys which will help him to associate frightening events or noises with rewards. Bring pets inside when there is a thunderstorm or lightning and switch the TV louder to drown out sounds. Play a game or teach them tricks where they can earn treats as rewards.

Remember that your pet picks up on your anxiety as well. Dogs and cats look to their owners to try and assess whether the situation is unsafe or not. This is especially the case with dogs. If you behave normally and go about your daily tasks without showing worry or fear, this will reassure your pet that all is well, despite the thunder and lightning!
HAVE A QUESTION related to your pet?
E-mail the PetAlive team FREE of charge for advice, click here -      

4.  Avoid disciplining your pet

Refrain from punishing or yelling at your pet if they become anxious or scared. Your dog or cat cannot help or control their anxious behaviour.

Scolding or hitting your pet will only worsen their behaviour and increase the anxiety.
HAVE A QUESTION related to your pet?
E-mail the PetAlive team FREE of charge for advice, click here -      

5. Natural remedies can help!  

Natural remedies have been known to work wonders in reducing anxiety and stress in animals. In the Feelgood Pets PetAlive range, use PetCalm, a 100% homeopathic remedy to reduce anxiety and stress in pets. PetCalm can be used regularly for very stressed or anxious pets – or when  needed for relief during stressful situations like visits to the vets, fireworks, thunderstorms, domestic stress, change of home, etc.    

For pets that suffer from separation anxiety, PetCalm will help to lift your pet’s mood and restore vitality. It also helps with pets who are chronically depressed or pining for a loved one. When a favourite family member dies or leaves home, your dog or cat can become very miserable and out of sorts!    
HAVE A QUESTION related to your pet?
E-mail the PetAlive team FREE of charge for advice, click here -

While your pet may always struggle with anxiety or be fearful, there are ways to cope and manage this problem effectively. Remember, a calm pet is a happy pet!

Previous post Next Post

Comments

  • Feelgood Pets - October 17, 2017

    Hi Ronell,

    Thank you for reaching out to us and for your interest in our brand, Feelgood Pets.

    We are pleased to inform you that we have two products that can help you to get your cat to stop scratching the furniture, called PetCalm and Nurture Natural Calming Spray for Cats.

    PetCalm is a natural homeopathic remedy that helps treat behavioural problems linked to anxiety and nervous dispositions.

    Nuture Natural Calming Spray for Cats is proven to effectively treat behavioural problems in cats due to stress, anxiety and phobias and reduces anxious, aggressive or anti-social behaviour, including defecating or urinating in the home, excessive meowing, scratching or compulsive licking due to anxiety.

    We hope that you have found the above to be helpful. Please let us know if you have anymore questions <3

  • Ronell - July 21, 2017

    Good Day.
    I hope you can assist me with my question.

    My cat is an adult already, but I can’t seem to get her to stop scratching my furniture. Do you have any suggestions?
    Regards
    Ronell

Leave a comment