Anxiety & Stress is a very real thing for many dogs & cats. In this simple guide, we will first learn what pet anxiety & stress really is. Next, we will go over what causes these conditions and examine the common forms of anxiety in pets. We will look at and compare everyday situations where your pet could get stressed out or experience unmanageable anxiety. And finally, we will show you ways to calm and control your four-legged friend whenever they experience anxiety with our simple home remedies! We will also explain to you what CBD (Cannabidiol) is and how it can promote comfort.
Pets experience stress and anxiety for multiple reasons. Everyday tasks like leaving to go to work or taking a ride in the car can trigger some unexpected behaviors in your pet. Loud noise from household appliances, fireworks or even thunderstorms can also cause your pet to get stressed out and experience anxiety. To learn how to fix these behavior issues, let’s first look at what pet anxiety and stress really is.
What is Pet Anxiety & Stress?
According to the English dictionary, anxiety is the “
4 Common Conditions Associated with Pet Anxiety & Stress
Here we focus on the 4 most common conditions associated with Pet Anxiety & Stress. All pets are different and can experience different types of anxiety. Below we have separated the 4 most common conditions and explain the details of each of their symptoms and treatments used. Read on to find out what condition your pet might be experiencing.
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Separation Anxiety in Pets
So you found out the hard way that leaving your dog home alone is not a good idea. Without the proper treatment, your nervous dog can do some very damaging and upsetting things when left alone. Even if it is for a small period of time.
Leaving your dog alone is sometimes unavoidable. Every family needs to leave the house to go to school or work. It can be the end of the world to your dog if you are gone for even a short period of time. Your pet loves attention and when no one is there to give it to them, this becomes a problem. Learn the symptoms of what to look for so the next time this behavior can be avoided.
Separation Anxiety Symptoms
Symptoms of Separation Anxiety range depending on your pet’s individual personality but the most common symptoms are as follows:
Defecating or Urinating – Your pet might be well potty trained when you are around but if you leave this stresses the pet out. Some people even believe that a pet might urinate or defecate because they are mad that you left! Pets have been reported to urinate on personal property as to almost send a message to the owner.
Barking or howling – Your pet will bark or howl excessively and this usually leads to complaints by the neighbors. Your dog is trying to tell you something. They don’t want to be let alone! Barking is a clear sign that they are needing attention and they won’t stop barking or howling until they get it. They know that this type of extreme behavior will result in someone, anyone coming to their rescue.
Pacing and Panting – Your dog will start walking back and forth uncontrollably sometimes whining or yelping while they do this. This is one of the first symptoms that will soon lead to others. Pacing is a for sure sign of anxiety.
Destroying property – Pets with separation anxiety have been known to chew property when left alone. They can bite or chew door frames and window seals. When the anxiety gets extreme they have been known to cause self-injuries like broken teeth, small cuts, and bruises.
Digging to escape – When left alone your dog will try to escape however they can. It might try to dig holes under a door or exit. This includes digging up the carpet or wood flooring in front of the door. They might also chew the molding or door jam in an attempt to open the door. Owners also have reported that the pet will dig in the yard under a wall or gate in an attempt to escape.
Separation Anxiety Treatment
Treating separation anxiety is a delicate process. Slowly conditioning your dog to be ok with you not in the room is the key to success.
Conditioning your pet: Your pet has been conditioned to recognize the departure signals to show when you are about to leave. These signals can trigger anxiety & stress. They go on unnoticed to you but to them, it’s a telltale sign that you are about to leave them all alone!
Your departure signals can be anything from putting on your shoes, grabbing your keys, putting on your coat, putting on our makeup or simply grabbing your bag or purse. Your pet has learned from years of this regular “getting ready” routine that you are about to leave and this makes them anxious.
How do we reverse this anxiousness after years of conditioning? Simple, let’s start by slowly mixing up your regular routine. For example instead of putting on your shoes before you leave the house. Try putting them on in the morning and then sitting down to watch some TV. Instead of grabbing your keys before you leave, try grabbing them and sitting down at the kitchen table to eat. Try grabbing your purse or coat and walking it from one room to the other throughout the day. Wake up and put your shoes on for 20 minutes and then take them off. The point is to mix up the signals so that your pet will not conclude that you are leaving so easily. Do this for several days until your pet stops showing signs of anxiety when you are getting ready to leave.
After you have successfully reconditioned your pet, it’s time to start slowly leaving them by themselves. Your pet is conditioned to know that if you are out of site then you are probably not there at the house. You can start to leave your dog in the room next to you and shut the door at first only for short periods of time. Try leaving your pet for 2 min and then come back. Next, try to increase the time to 5 minutes, then 10. After you have successfully conditioned them to be okay when you leave the room for hours, you can then try the same thing when leaving the house.
Social Anxiety in Pets
Pets usually have social anxiety because they have not yet been trained to be social with other dogs or other people. This is another conditioning procedure that you should start introducing to them at an early age.
Lack of early socialization will later lead to social anxiety if left untreated. There is a risk of your pet developing behavioral problems such as fear, anxiety & aggression is much higher if not properly socialized early.
When owners can’t bring their pets around other people or pets, this gives more reason for their pets to be left alone. This can then cause more anxiety and stress in your pet.
Social Anxiety Symptoms
Fear of other people or other animals – Your dog or cat can become scared of others. unknown people and other pets can be intimidating and cause fear in your pet.
Aggressive behavior – Your pet will become aggressive as a sign of defense because the other pet or person is unknown and your dog fears an attack.
Pacing & Panting – your pet will experience anxiety when around other dogs by panting and pacing back and forth.
Barking, growling, scratching or whimpering – Your pet will bark uncontrollably growl or whimper excessively whenever around another dog or person.
Social Anxiety Treatment
Desensitize your pet slowly by bringing your pet around other pets one at a time. Try leaving them together at first for short periods of time then slowly start letting them be together for longer periods. Just the same, let your pet be with another person for short periods of time. Don’t be forceful or impatient you will only cause more anxiety if you do this. Make use of positive reinforcement with treats and toys. Give your pet a pat on the head and tell him “Good boy” They will eventually loosen up to become friendly.
Loud Noise Anxiety in Pets
Thunder and fireworks are common noises that can scare your pet. Other loud noises that can trigger anxiety in your pet include sirens, thunder, fireworks or even sometimes earthquakes. Animals have strong hearing and are sensitive to loud noises. When your pet experiences these noises it frightens them. This fear can cause them to act out or misbehave.
Loud Noise Anxiety Symptoms
Symptoms of loud noise anxiety include: Excessive barking, whining, drooling, panting and pacing, full of distress. More serious symptoms include more destructive behavior like destroying property, chewing or urinating uncontrollably.
Loud Noise Anxiety Treatment
Again it is important to slowly condition your pet to accept this noise. Reassure them that everything will be ok and they are not in any harm. Comfort your pet by petting them or by giving them treats. Try distracting them with toys and food while the loud noise is occurring. Music has been known to be a good distraction as well. Slowly condition them to not be afraid. They will eventually see that everything is fine and there is no need for panic. Thunder shirts have always helped calm a pet for a thunderstorm. This works by applying pressure around the pet’s body. Wrapping them up with a towel or blanket can also work just the same.
Travel Anxiety & Car Sickness in Pets
With so many destinations being pet-friendly these days, it seems like you can probably just take your pet with you everywhere right? Travel anxiety is a common problem with pets and owners find this out the hard way. Don’t let the condition surprise you. Fortunately, there are several new ways to help calm your pet’s anxiety and car sickness.
Symptoms of Travel Anxiety
Symptoms of travel anxiety range from mild to severe. Mild symptoms include panting, whining, drooling, barking, shaking & pacing. Severe symptoms include destructive behavior, vomiting, urinating or defecating.
Treatment of Travel Anxiety
Slowly conditioning your pet to travel is the key to treating their anxiety. Start first by putting your dog in the back seat or cargo area of your car. Praise him, give him positive reinforcement treats. Play with your dog while in the back seat. Try feeding your pet in the car. Do this daily only for a few minutes at first and then slowly start increasing the amount of time spent in the car. Make this the best, most positive car experience that you can give.
Next, start conditioning by taking your pet on short trips to fun destinations. A short car ride to the local park or beach is perfect. Take them on trips to the pet store! They love PetCo or PetSmart trips! Give your dog a fun new experience associated with your once dreaded car. Then gradually increase the driving distance every time and you will soon rid of any old travel anxiety problems!
Anxiety & Stress Relief with CBD Dog Treats
Holistapet CBD dog treats +Stress & Anxiety Relief are enhanced with L-Theanine and Chamomile to increase alpha wave generation and lower your pet’s anxiety.
These unique calming herbs combined with other key superfoods like Hemp Seed Powder and Pure CBD Oil may provide calm energy and promote a peaceful relaxing state of mind.
This formula is perfect for animals who suffer from phobias. Great for pets who show fear from fireworks, thunder or loud noises. Good for pets with severe separation issues or traveling phobias. Also good for animals with nervous stomachs.
- L-Theanine – Decreases anxiety. promotes stress relief and relaxation.
- Chamomile – Calms stress. Reduces nervousness, anxiety & fear.
- Hemp Seed Powder – Extremely high nutritional value.
- CBD Oil (Cannabidiol) – May help to promote calmness, relaxation, and overall wellbeing.
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