Pets with Anxiety: Symptoms + Strategies


"This is what de-stressing looks like." -Jinxy


Have you noticed your dog barking more or acting more aggressive? Has your cat been avoiding the liter box? Pet parents, your fur baby is trying to tell you something: he/she is a bit stressed. Stress in pets can be caused by similar things that stress their humans out, but things that may seem insignificant to us can throw them off, too. Let's dive a little deeper:


Symptoms:


Signs of stress in dogs-

  • Extra barking

  • Dribbling pee

  • Chewing

  • Shaking

  • Hiding

  • Restlessness

Signs of stress in cats-

  • Under/over grooming

  • Avoiding the liter box/accidents

  • Change in diet (lack of appetite especially)

  • Lack of purring


Strategies:


First and foremost, start by talking to your vet. He/she will be able to help identify the type of stress your pet is under and if there is an underlying condition that could be causing the stress. Your vet will also advise on a formal treatment plan.

  • Remove the stress. Does your pet not like loud noises? Eliminate or reduce that exposure.

  • Another method is desensitizing: slowly introducing your pet to their source of stress. This one can be tricky-so make sure to do your research and bring in a pro if need be.

  • Give your pet some extra attention. He/she could feel alienated!

  • Also make sure they exercise. Set aside some extra time to walk your dog and get your cat to run around a little more. Exercise in pets helps to rid stress just like it does in humans.

  • For cats avoiding the liter box, create a "spa space" for them: give them a larger liter box, and use a calming diffuser to make them less stressed. I personally use the Feliway calming diffusers (https://rstyle.me/+PiFAlrJnroYjif5QmXt1BA). I've already noticed a positive difference in how our cats are acting, and (knock on wood) there have been no more accidents on the couch!)

If these tactics are't helping, talk to your vet again-there are medications and natural therapies that can be brought in. There are certain perscriptions that can be given to your pet (but DO NOT give your baby ANYTHING before talking to your vet!!!) On the natural remedy side, CBD is recommended. Although there is no solid science behind it there are some reports from dog owners saying that CBD oil can be effective in treating dog anxiety.


At the end of the day, it's important to pay close attention to what your pet is doing and how he/she is reacting to certain things. If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned, start by talking to your vet (Sorry if I'm being redundant but I CANNOT stress it enough!) And remember-try not to stress because your pet will pick up on that! (Stress is a vicious cycle.)


I hope this helps you if your fur baby has some stress/anxiety in his her/life! Have a wonderful weekend, Cozy Community!



Resources:

AKC.org

FreshPet.com

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