Just like human beings, pets can also suffer from anxiety because of different reasons. Your pet can eventually experience anxiety if they are often exposed to loud noises, or left alone for long periods of time. If you notice that your pet has been urinating or defecating in the house more often than usual, and displays aggressive and destructive behavior, anxiety might be the culprit.
Anxiety is common among pets, but this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t intervene. Anxiety can create long-term consequences for your pet’s health, and can become the reason why they will bark, whine, and drool excessively (if you have a dog). Pets that have anxiety will also lose their appetite to eat, making their bodies weak and become more susceptible to illnesses and diseases.
Keep your pets calm all the time by following the tips listed below:
1. Look For Distractions
One of the reasons why your pets easily get anxious is because they are too focused on the changes happening around them. If there is a thunderstorm in your area, for example, your pet would likely focus their time and attention listening to the loud noises caused by the weather. They might not realize it, but their ability to focus on one thing can become the reason why they will suffer from anxiety.
You can easily calm your pets during this time by giving them a distraction. You can buy a toy from online stores, such as Petsumer, or personally visit local pet stores in your area. A high-quality toy will keep your pets distracted while stimulating their minds.
2. Exercise Regularly
Regular exercise can provide countless health benefits to humans, but are you aware that it can also do the same to pets? Another way to help your pets calm down is to incorporate exercise into their daily routine. Exercising can release endorphins or happy hormones in your pet’s body that can stabilize and boost their mood.
If you know that your pet will be exposed to a stressful environment (fireworks during New Year’s Eve or construction noises outside of your home), exercise can also tire them out and make them sleep easy. If your pet can’t hear any loud or sudden noises as they are already fast asleep, they won’t suffer from stress and anxiety.
3. Provide Physical Contact
As a pet owner, you can do a lot of things to help your furry friend remain calm. Some of these strategies are too easy and can be done without any tools or toys.
For you to easily calm your pet, provide physical contact to them. If you notice that your pet is whimpering as they are exposed to a new and loud environment, pick them up and cuddle with them on the couch. These gestures might seem small, but, more often than not, physical contact from their favorite human is the only thing your pets need to stay calm and ward off stress.
4. Give Your Pets A Massage
Anxiety can cause the muscles in your pet’s body to constrict, causing pain and discomfort. When left untreated, anxiety will make it hard for your pet to move and remain active.
Make sure that this doesn’t happen to your pet by always giving them a massage if you notice that they suddenly become anxious. If you have a dog or cat, start by petting their bodies and, then, massage their neck in circular motions. Continue massaging their shoulders, chest, and front legs.
If this is your first time to use massage therapy on your pets, use only one of your hands and the other to hold your pet’s hand. Letting your pet hold your hand will put their mind at ease and help them stay calm as you’re massaging them.
5. Incorporate Time-Out To Your Pet’s Routine
As mentioned, anxiety in pets can be caused by unfamiliar or loud environments. When your pet is exposed to any of these, they will eventually feel stressed and become anxious. If your space allows it, create a safe and quiet area for your pet to do some time-out.
Ideally, this space should have soothing music, low lights, and some sweet scents. You can also invest in a motion-activated sensor that turns on a gentle fan and blocks outside noise as your pet enters the area. This kind of environment can help your pet calm their frayed nerves and continue with their daily routine.
Work With Your Vet
If you followed all of the tips in this article and still notice that your pets are still anxious, consider visiting your vet. They will properly diagnose your pets’ anxiety, determine if there are other underlying health conditions, and provide tailored-fit treatments.
With your vet’s help and your dedication to keep your pets healthy, it won’t be long before your furry friends can finally live a stress-free life!