Is your pet stressed-out? Dogs and cats can react to stressful situations differently, and there are some ways to help alleviate their discomfort and help them calm down. Whether the solar eclipse has your dog in a frenzy, or if your cat is nervous when the doorbell rings, try some tactics to relieve and relax your four-legged friends.
Ten tips that may help sooth stressed pets are:
1.Provide something familiar
A familiar scent on clothing, bedding, or toys can be comforting to both dogs and cats during times of stress, like a storm or in a new home. Put one of these items in the pet's bed, kennel, or crate to comfort them.
2.Give some love
When your pet is anxious, it can help to give them affection- if you are in a calm state of mind. If it is something that is stressing you both out, your anxiety could be picked-up and transferred to your pet.
3.Dig-out a distraction
A distraction can help lower stress and anxiety. Distract dogs with a busy-toy or bone. They will channel their attention on the bone, and give them something to focus on.
Keep a nervous kitty contained in a small room with everything they need, such as bedding, food, water, and litter-box. This is a good way to acclimate a cat to new surroundings, too; visit and spend time with your cat, expanding their access to other areas of the home over a few days to ensure they don't get scared and try to flee.
5.Play some white-noise
White noise, such as a television, music, or air-conditioner, can help to drown-out the noise or din that is making pets nervous. A small oscillating fan is also a great distraction during storms or inclement weather.
6.Allow them space
Make sure to allow your pets some space when they are anxious. Create a little nook or invite them to their kennel with treats and favorite toys. Don't push your pet to interact if they want to go off by themselves for a while.
7.Keep them in
Try to keep pets inside during stressful situations, such as storms, fireworks, or the eclipse. Pets may try to escape the situation and flee the home, becoming lost. Watch the doors to prevent nervous pets from acting on their 'fight or flight' instinct.
8.Engage with exercise
If your pet wants to engage with you, do something that involves exercise. Tiring a pet out from play can help them to calm and self-soothe during stressful times.
9.Try something herbal
Another option is to try herbal remedies; these can be effective at soothing stressed pets and inducing sleep, in some instances. Try catnip, valerian root, or chamomile for cats; Pasque-flower, yellow jasmine, and passion flower are reported to be effective at treating separation anxiety in dogs. Just make sure to inform your veterinarian of any herbal remedies or supplements you are administering to your pet.
10.Stay in sight
Seeing a favorite human is soothing to pets, particularly when traveling. Cats may not be calm enough for petting, but if they can see you, they will feel more secure. Dogs want to see you, but may not be comfortable with you making direct eye contact when they are feeling stressed or anxious; let them know your near without staring them down.
Speak with the professionals at Community Veterinary Hospital for other suggestions to relieve stress in your pet. There are medications that may warrant a try, and your vet can point you toward viable treatment options as needed. Stress is not only draining, but unhealthy; help your pets calm down with these ten tips.