Our furry friends can develop anxiety and stress over what we may perceive as simple changes in their lives.
Dogs, being social creatures, are most happy when they have a regular routine, and clear and consistent signals from their family. They try really hard to follow our rules, but sometimes they misunderstand. If their needs for strong social understanding are not met, they become frustrated, confused and stressed.
Cats are most loving and affectionate when they are happy. They are most happy when they feel in control of their environment. When happy, they rub their head all over their territory, including furniture, walls, and even our legs, releasing a chemical that only cats can detect. This chemical, called a pheromone, reassures them that all is well. Any change in their environment however, can cause anxiety.
Situations that most commonly cause stress in our pets include:
- A New Home eg. puppy, adoption
- Unfamiliar Handling eg. grooming
- Unfamiliar Loud Noises eg. fireworks, storms
- Moving House or New Furniture and Renovations
- A New Family Member eg. new baby, new cat
- Separation eg. home alone, holidays in kennels
- Travelling eg. going to the vet
If one of the above scenarios are happening, or are about to happen, in your home, then we can help you with strategies to counteract your pet’s anxiety. There are also medications available, based on synthetic pheromones, that can be useful for calming and settling both dogs and cats, young and old, under stress.
Anxious dogs may turn away, tuck their tail and not give eye contact, shed excessive amounts of hair, lick their lips, yawn, tremble or pace. When stress has become long term, or chronic, they play less, eat less, are apathetic or may overreact to situations, and their sleep patterns change.
A stressed cat scratches furniture and maybe walls, may urinate outside the litter box, stops eating or sometimes over eats, hides away, grooms excessively and becomes less playful or even aggressive.
Many medical conditions and diseases will result in both dogs and cats showing signs of stress, so it’s always best have them thoroughly examined by a veterinarian to assess their physical, as well as mental well being. If you have any concerns, then it’s easy to call and ask us on 3284 5133.