Pet anxiety is a common trait found in a lot of animals. You can treat it just like other problematic behaviors. Although you can usually treat anxiety entirely using dog supplies and accessories such as toys, beds, etc. There are cases where you can only manage it, and it only becomes visible under specific conditions.
This article is a must-read for people with anxious pets. Here we’ll review some techniques for helping your pet overcome anxiety and live a long, healthy life.
Let’s examine what causes pet anxiety and how to calm them.
Understanding pet anxiety: Signs and causes
Pet anxiety can take various forms and impact different pets. Some pet anxiety symptoms to look out for are as follows:
- Excessive barking or whining
- Pacing or restlessness
- Trembling or shaking
- Panting or heavy breathing
- Destructive behavior
- Hiding or avoidance behavior
- Loss of appetite or changes in eating habits
- Aggression toward other animals or people
Pet anxiety can result from a lot of factors. Some of them are:
- Separation anxiety: Dogs experience this anxiety when adopted by a new family or left alone.
- Loud noises: Loud or sudden noises such as thunderstorms or fireworks also cause your pets to become anxious.
- Trauma or abuse: Past traumatic experiences or abusive situations can cause pets to develop anxiety.
- Lack of socialization: Pets not appropriately socialized as puppies or kittens may become anxious in new situations or around new people or animals.
- Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions can also cause anxiety in pets.
If your pet is suffering from anxiety, your veterinarian can help you determine the underlying cause.
Natural remedies for calming an anxious pet
There are several natural remedies to calm an anxious pet. Here are some options:
- Exercise: Regular exercise can help reduce anxiety in pets. Take your pet for a walk or play a game of fetch to help them burn off excess energy.
- Thundershirt: The Thundershirt is widely used to calm anxious dogs. It’s a garment that fits snugly around your dog. The idea is that a dog can relax under constant pressure, which can assist with concerns like anxiety.
- Music: If your pet experiences separation anxiety, whenever you have to leave the house, playing music may help. Music can also block loud street noises that make your dog anxious.
- Essential Oils: Essential oils are also known to be soothing to animals. But they should never be applied directly to animals. Use a diffuser to release the oils into the air to calm your pet.
- Pheromones: Pheromones are colorless and odorless chemicals. They help in relaxing anxious pets by affecting parts of their brain. As a result, there is an evident change in your pet’s behavior.
Training techniques for reducing anxiety in pets
There are several training techniques for anxious pets. Some of the most common techniques are:
- Desensitization: Expose your pet to the cause of anxiety, starting with a minimum amount and then increasing the amount gradually. It will help to reduce anxiety over time.
- Counter-conditioning: It entails developing a new emotional response to stressors by exchanging negative triggers for positive results and rewards.
- Environmental management: This entails giving the pet mentally and physically challenging things to do, such as toys and puzzles. Keeping the pet’s mind active and preventing boredom might assist in alleviating anxiety.
- Medication: Pets may need medication to help them relax in specific situations. Anxiety is a behavior condition that does not typically resolve on its own. Prescription medication is often necessary to help your anxious dog relax.
Calming products for pets with anxiety: Pros and cons.
Calming products for pets with anxiety include calming treats, herbal supplements, and dietary supplements. They are beneficial in reducing your pet’s stress by relaxing or distracting it. However, they also have potential drawbacks that we should consider. Here are some brief pros and cons of calming products for pets with anxiety:
- Can reduce stress and anxiety
- Non-invasive and have no side effects
- Easy to use
- Can improve behavior
- Can be used in combination with other treatments
- May not work for all pets
- Expensive especially when used on a regular basis
- Not a cure for anxiety, only for managing symptoms
- Not a substitute for training
Consider these pros and cons when deciding whether or not to use these calming products for your pets. Also, talk to your vet before deciding which calming products to use for your pet.
Ultimately, it’s necessary to keep your pet calm during anxiety. These are some of the many ways to calm your pet. But every pet is unique, and you must figure out the technique that works for them. Observe your pet and talk to your veterinarian to make a treatment plan. Your Vet can also suggest some natural remedies that can help reduce your pet’s anxiety and make them calm and content.