Pet Anxiety: Causes and Management Strategies
Pets play a crucial part in our lives by providing us with unconditional love and companionship. They are a part of our family because we are attached to them and feel affection, comfort, and joy from having them. However, just like people, pets can experience anxiety, which can be worrying for pet owners. Pet anxiety can take many various forms and be brought on by a variety of causes. This article will look at some management techniques that pet owners can use to help their furry companions deal with anxiety as well as the factors that contribute to pet anxiety.
Signs of anxiety
Aggression: If a cat exhibits aggression without any apparent cause, they are anxious.
Excessive drooling: A typical anxiety sign in which a pet produces an excessive amount of saliva.
Escapism: Attempting to flee from a situation out of fear.
Striding: Moving quickly from place to place while being agitated.
Excessive barking: inappropriate howling indicates anxiety and trauma issues.
Tail tucking: When frightened, pets often tuck their tails under their bellies, which is an obvious sign of mild anxiety.
What Triggers anxiety in pets?
The following are the few important factors that can cause stress and anxiety in pets.
Particularly in dogs’, separation anxiety is the general reason for anxiety issues. This happens when pets become worried and stressed out when they are left alone. Separation anxiety may be due to routine change, a move to a new home, or even the absence of a family member. Dogs are a eusocial species and frequently depends on the presence of their owners for safety and comfort. When left alone, they may become anxious and display symptoms such as barking, destructive behavior, and soiling.
Pets become anxious when hear loud noises such as fireworks, thunderstorms, and construction which can cause anxiety in pets. Pets can be tactful to loud noises, and they may become afraid or anxious when they hear them. Dogs, especially, have a heightened sense of hearing, touch and smell, which can make them more prone to anxiety caused by loud noises.
There are certain medical conditions that can cause anxiety in pets. For example, pets with thyroid imbalances may lead to anxiety, as well as pets with chronic pain or mobility issues. In these cases, labeling the underlying medical condition can help reduce anxiety symptoms.
Agonizing events such as car accidents, abuse, or neglect can develop anxiousness in pets. Pets that have experienced trauma may become fearful and anxious, even in seemingly secure situations. It is important to provide these pets with a safe and secure environment to help them feel more contentment.
Lack of Socialization
Pets that have not been socialized properly may experience anxiety when they are subjected to new conditions or people. This can be particularly prevalent among rescue pets or pets that have been remote for long periods. Pets that have not developed the habit of being around other animals or people may become anxious and fearful, which can cause them to become violent or to retreat.
Age related anxiety
The aging process is related to ongoing and irreversible changes in the body system that will affect the animal’s behavior. Aging can lead to decline in psychological function of pets, that includes memory loss, learning, consciousness, perception and alertness. Furthermore anxiety, turmoil and modified response to stimuli have been reported.
Management Strategies for Pet Anxiety
Here are some important management strategies to relieve anxiety in your beloved pets.
Provide a Safe and Comfortable Environment
One of the most important management strategies for pet anxiety is to provide a safe and comfortable environment for your pet. This can include a comfortable bed, a safe and secure space, and plenty of toys and activities to keep your pet occupied. It is important to provide your pet with a sense of security, especially if they are prone to anxiety.
Establish a routine.
Having a routine and participating in various activities will keep your pet busy and help them feel safe and less anxious. The routine keeps the pet in a cycle of activities and helps him to stay mentally stimulated.
Provide Plenty of Exercise
Exercise is an important part of managing pet anxiety. Regular exercise can help your pet release pent-up energy and reduce stress and anxiety.
Socialization is important for pets, especially those that have not been properly socialized in the past. Socialization can help your pet become more confident and less anxious in new situations. This can include introducing your pet to other animals or people in a controlled environment.
Behavioral training can be an effective way to manage pet anxiety. This can include obedience training, desensitization training, and even medication in severe cases.
In severe cases, medication may be necessary to manage pet anxiety. This can include prescription medication or natural remedies such as CBD oil or herbal supplements.
Desensitizing your pet’s anxiety triggers
It might take some time to resolve the problem. Expose them to their triggers gradually, as if they were receiving treatment. Play loud noises like thunder and fireworks for a short while, then give them a treat. In this way, try other anxiety-inducing activities with them on a daily or weekly basis while also offering them what they enjoy eating to calm them down.
This is a kind of wrap around jacket that relaxes the pet by applying constant pressure to their body. So, you can keep your pet comfortable with a calming vest.
Natural remedies such as essential oils, pheromone sprays, and calming treats can also be effective in managing pet anxiety. These remedies can help your pet feel calm and relaxed without the use of medication.
Pet anxiety is a common problem that many pet owners. However, with the right management strategies, pet anxiety can be managed effectively. By providing a safe and comfortable environment, establishing a routine, providing plenty of exercise, socializing your pet, and using behavioral training and natural remedies, you can help your pet feel calm and relaxed, even in stressful situations. If you are concerned about your pet’s anxiety, it is important to speak with your veterinarian to determine the best course of action for your pet’s specific needs.
If you are located in the Peoria, IL region, visit Whitney Veterinary Hospital. Our expert vets will be able to look at the root cause of your pet’s anxiety and treat any underlying conditions that may be making your pet anxious. Give us a call today at (309) 685-4707, or Request an Appointment Online.