Like humans, pets often suffer from everyday stress that can lead to issues which can cause them to become anxious or stressed. Unfortunately, while humans have some means at their disposal to deal with such issues, pets aren’t so lucky. So here are some effective ways to help reduce and relieve anxiety and stress in pets.
Physical and mental exercise
Lack of mental stimulation or physical activity can create stress. There are lots of interactive toys available for both cats and dogs. By rotating new and old toys, you will keep your pet interested in what they’re playing with. Whether a hide and seek mouse game or an IQ treat-dispensing puzzle – there’s bound to be something available for your pet.
When dogs or cats lactate, they produce a pheromone that intensifies the bond between mother and pup or kitten. This pheromone has a calming and soothing effect and can be manufactured into an easy-to-use product. You can get products that contain the facial pheromones that cats rub over people and objects to mark them as familiar or safe. Cat pheromone products come in a diffuser form and dog pheromone products come as diffusers, sprays or collars. Pheromones can help treat anxiety in cats and dogs of all ages. In addition, it is odourless to humans, so you don’t need to worry about strange scents in your home.
Most pets like to have a safe space to go to when they feel anxious or stressed. Your pet’s safe space could be a place where they can have some privacy and serenity along with a few of their favourite toys. You can also use a pheromone dispenser on or around their safe space. Cats like to get up high where they can observe their environment, especially when they are frightened. Provide your cat with a few different options, including open resting spaces such as windowsills as well as enclosed resting spaces.
Spotify has launched a ‘My Dog’s Favourite Podcast’ – which has hours of ‘soothing sounds and friendly chat’, which is an ‘aural treat’ for your dog. Classical music is soothing not only for humans but also for cats, according to the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, produced by the International Society of Feline Medicine, the veterinary branch of International Cat Care. The soft sounds can calm down some cats and lead to relaxed breathing and a well-balanced heartbeat – with some dogs as well.
Avoid drastic changes in your routine
Cats thrive on routine and benefit from regular mealtimes, playtimes, and bedtimes. However, changes in your cat’s schedule or environment can create stress and anxiety and may trigger inappropriate urination. A routine will let your dog know what to expect each day and when to expect it. Establishing a toileting routine will help to avoid feelings of discomfort or anxiety for them and nasty clean-ups for you.
Check for health and behavioural issues
Pets often conceal health issues because of how they have evolved over several millennia. Anxiety and stress could be caused by an underlying health issue. It’s crucial that you speak to your vet to see if this can be ruled out as possible cause. You may also want to consider meeting with an accredited veterinary behaviourist to help you put together a specific plan to adjust your pet’s underlying emotional response.
Please keep in mind that sometimes you may need to implement a mixture of strategies. The solution may not be quick or easy, but you can help your pet be happier and worry-free with dedication and the right professional assistance.