How To Help With Anxiety & Stress In Pets

How To Help With Anxiety & Stress In Pets

Where It Comes From & What You Can Do To Help

When it comes to our pets, it’s safe to say that we’d do anything to ensure that they live a happy, comfortable, and stress-free life, right? But then again, pets are prone to many of the same physical and mental symptoms that we are, and oftentimes, the causes for those symptoms are quite similar too.

Our pets are certainly prone to stress and anxiety, just as we are. But for pet owners, knowing how to spot these symptoms could be difficult. It all depends on how your pet deals with it.

With that in mind, let’s talk about the root causes of stress and anxiety in pets. From there, you can gain a better understanding of how to eliminate the chances of these symptoms developing.


Where Does Stress And Anxiety In Pets Come From?

Our pets are fragile beings. They’re sensitive, they’re intuitive, and they’re prone to emotional issues and struggles just the same as us! If you have a dog whose tail goes between its legs when it hears a loud noise like thunder or a firework, then it’s safe to assume that your furry friend is feeling scared, stressed out, or anxious. Suppose you have a cat that doesn’t make eye contact when you look at them – that could be a sign that they’re struggling with anxiety.


Signs of Stress and Anxiety in Dogs

It is extremely common for your dog’s behaviour to change when they are scared or feeling uneasy. Here are some common behaviours your pet might exhibit:

  • Shaking or trembling
  • Clinginess
  • Excessive panting or licking
  • Restlessness or pacing
  • Hiding or trying to escape
  • Ears pinned pack
  • Whining or barking
  • Tucking their tail


Signs of Stress and Anxiety in Cats

Much like dogs, cats behaviour can change when they start to feel stressed or anxious. Here are some signs your cat may be suffering from anxiety:

  • Shaking or trembling
  • Excessive licking
  • Hiding and/or trying To escape
  • Loud meowing
  • Going to the toilet in the house instead of their litter box
  • Flattened ears
  • Dilated eyes
  • Crouching / making themselves small
  • Aggressive behaviour, e.g., hissing  

Types Of Anxiety In Pets

Separation Anxiety

One of the most common forms of anxiety found in pets is separation anxiety. When it comes to dogs, it’ll be more difficult to find a dog that likes to be left alone, as opposed to one that doesn’t. Remember, dogs are social creatures and they love nothing more than to interact with a human who loves them. The level of stress and anxiety that manifests in a dog that has been separated from its owner usually comes from boredom and loneliness.

Rescue Anxiety

Did you rescue your pet from a shelter? Did your pet previously go through a traumatic event? Was your pet homeless and living on the streets when you took them in? If you’ve answered “yes” to any of those questions, then your pet is a likely candidate for stress and anxiety. When our pets have experienced trauma in their lives, it sticks with them. They learn survival skills and coping skills that can be difficult for them to unlearn when a new family takes them in. Oftentimes, this trauma manifests itself in some sort of stress or anxiety disorder later in life.

Generalised Anxiety

Some dog breeds actually struggle with generalised anxiety. They can get upset when they experience a change – even something as simple as bringing a new person into your home, a new object, or a new furniture piece. They can even experience anxiety with a slight change to their routine!


How To Alleviate Pet Anxiety

Creating a Safe Space

Research shows that providing a designated safe space for pets can significantly reduce their anxiety levels. This could be a cosy corner with their favourite bed or blanket, away from noisy distractions. Ensure that the space is quiet, comfortable, and easily accessible for your pet to go to when feeling overwhelmed.


Utilising Natural Calming Supplements

Natural supplements, such as the Daily Joint Supplement or Calming Drops, contain ingredients such as Ashwagandha, and St. John's Wort, which research has shown reduce stress and anxiety. To learn more about these ingredients, check out 11 Natural Health-Boosting Ingredients For Your Pet.


Playing Calming Music For Pets

Music therapy isn't just for humans, it can also be beneficial to your pets. Studies have shown that playing calming pet music can help reduce stress and promote relaxation. Particularly in firework season, music is great for blocking out harsh, loud noises that your pet's ears can be sensitive to.


Positive Reinforcement

Training techniques based on positive reinforcement can be highly effective in managing pet anxiety. Rewarding calm behaviour with natural treats, praise, or playtime can help reinforce positive associations and reduce stress. Consistency and patience are key when implementing positive reinforcement strategies.


Contact Us

Hopefully, we’ve been able to help you understand your pet's stress and anxiety concerns, but if you have any more queries, visit our pet advice blog or feel free to contact us. Our friendly customer care team will be happy to help.

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