21 Aug 2019 3 Tips for Reducing Anxiety in Your Pets
Many people don’t realize that we share similar emotions to our pets including the feelings of worry and fear of abandonment. Additionally, if you have adopted a rescue pet there is a good chance that his or her former life was not as good as your pet has it now. Anxiety can stem from several situations in your pet’s current and former home.
What causes a pet’s anxiety?
The main causes of pet anxiety are:
- Separation anxiety. Commonly seen in dogs, separation anxiety can also affect your cat and other animals. Since your pet is a social animal there may be some hesitance when you start to get ready to leave the home for work or hanging out with friends. Your dog may try to prevent you from leaving, bark in distress or even tear the house apart after you leave.
- Loud noises. Loud noises can scare your pet in the same way they can scare you or one of your children. You must remember that a dog will not understand what a storm is or likely other noises, so hearing it can be scary and intimidating.
- Prior trauma. Especially is you have a pet rescue; previous trauma can be deeply seeded within your pet. Your pet may have anxiety due to verbal or physical abuse of a previous owner, abandonment, starvation, or any of dozens of other reasons.
Ways you can reduce anxiety in your pets
Cuddle with your pet
Cuddling with your pet is one of the best signs of affection that you can show. Cuddling while stroking your pet promotes feelings of calm and relief. The warmth of your body against theirs helps to provide security as well as reduce the effects of anxiety. This is especially helpful for dogs which require physical interaction.
White noise machine
White noise machines are an excellent way for you to get your own sleep, but they can also provide soothing sounds for your anxious pet. Dogs inherently have excellent hearing and so at night when you see your dog jump up with ears perked, it has caught curious sound waves. This may be nothing at all, or it may provoke fear or annoyance. A white noise machine helps to blend sounds so your dog can rest more comfortably at night.
Develop a routine
Routine helps your dog to predict what is going to happen in their day. For example, if you wake up and allow your dog to cuddle in bed with you for a few minutes before taking your dog outside to go to the bathroom, then your pet looks forward to that experience. The same is if you have playtime when you get home from work. Routine helps to reduce anxiety by allowing your dog to understand a series of activities, when they will happen which in turn create confidence.
Abnormal behavior in your pet such as ripping up furniture or going to the bathroom in different places in your home can indicate that your pet is experiencing anxiety. By understanding your pet’s anxiety and trying to remedy their concern through cuddling, creating a sound environment, and developing routine you can help your pet reduce their concerns.
Written by guest author Krista Harper.