Pets experience many of the same needs, worries, and fears that humans do. That is why it is not uncommon for your pet to be fraught with anxiety. The good thing is that while anxiety in pets is common, their level of anxiety can be reduced and sometimes even eliminated. But, first you need to know what is causing your pet’s worries.
Genetics: Some pets, especially dogs, have a higher level of genetic breed anxiety. For dogs these breeds are often higher energy and more intelligent. For example, Basset hounds, Cocker spaniels, and Siberian Huskies.
Separation anxiety: This is a common type of anxiety in pets. Much like a toddler, pets have a basic understanding of time. So, for them there is little difference between five minutes and five hours. All they know is their security blanket (you) is gone.
Past trauma: If you rescue a pet there is a better than average chance that their previous home wasn’t the best. Past trauma stress such as mental and physical abuse, malnutrition, and separation can all re-emerge as your pet ages.
Medical: Pets with medical issues such as hypothyroidism, hearing loss, and diabetes may experience anxiety. Much of this is due to a lack of understanding of what is wrong and the inability to control it.
So, what can you do to help reduce your pet’s anxiety? Here are 3 tips.
Try to find out why your pet has anxiety
The first step in trying to reduce your pet’s anxiety is determining what is causing the stress. For most people, it may be easy to figure out when your pet is having an issue. Everything from torn up furniture, frequent whining and yelling, going to the bathroom in strange places, hiding, and other abnormal behaviors may be good indicators something is wrong. But until you know what the problem is it can be difficult to specifically address.
Sleep with your pet
Your pet has the same social needs as you do. The warmth and cuddling that comes from sleeping with your pet can provide a sense of security and comfort that your pet craves. In fact, many health professionals recommend sleeping with your pet as a way to improve your own sleep quality and reduce anxiety.
Developing a daily routine with your pet is important. Your pet will understand time differently than you. So, while you go by a clock, your pet will use activities to understand and predict their day. For example, if you take your pet for a walk before going to work, and then another walk after work, this provides your pet both the ability to predict you will be coming back home for the second walk and something to look forward to later in the day. Essentially, you’re building a dependable schedule or routine your pet can follow.
Your pets anxiety may manifest in a variety of ways. The first step in reducing anxiety is understanding your pets needs and concerns. After that it is important to create security and comfort through actions such as cuddling and building daily routine.
Article written by Krista Harper