Author: Nancy S.
Does your pet relieve himself outside of his litter box? Does he bark, meow, or chew incessantly without any apparent cause?
If you answered ‘yes’ to all the above questions, there are only two possible explanations. Either your pet needs training or retraining to help instill polite manners, or it is suffering from an anxiety disorder such as separation anxiety.
Training or retraining an anxious pet may be relatively easy. But dealing with an anxiety problem isn’t always a walk in the park.
Like humans, stress is a leading cause of anxiety in pets. So, one effective way to manage pet anxiety is by addressing stress.
Fortunately, there are several ways to relieve stress and help your furry, feathery, or scaly companion lead a quality life. Read on for the five important ways to calm down an anxious pet.
Increase Physical Contact
Gentle petting can go a long way in relieving stress and anxiety in pets. In fact, touching your pet frequently can prevent anxiety from setting in altogether.
Physical contact is particularly encouraged for social pets like dogs and cats. It helps to calm these animals down and make them feel more secure.
While you should maintain constant physical touch with your pet, it’s best to pay more attention to circumstances that may trigger stress and anxiety. Examples include thunderstorms, fireworks, and hanging out in a park full of people and other animals.
In the same breath, experts discourage excess physical contact as it may trigger separation anxiety. Being overly close to your pet might encourage unhealthy attachments. Your pet might become so fond of you that he may not be able to cope in your absence.
Try Music Therapy
Various studies have proved that music therapy can be highly beneficial for humans. The same applies to pets too. According to researchers at Stanford University, listening to music may alter brain functioning in the same manner as conventional anxiety medications. Music comes with an extra advantage in that there are ZERO side effects.
As with humans, careful consideration is required when choosing the right music to relieve anxiety in pets. Pay particular attention to the tempo and beats.
While slow music may calm the mind and relax the muscles, faster music can produce the exact opposite effects.
Keep Your Pet Stimulated
Every pet deserves adequate physical and mental stimulation. The good news is that there are several ways to keep your pet stimulated.
The most common method to stimulate your pet is by exercising him regularly. Most veterinary officers agree that pets require at least 30 minutes of moderate to high-intensity exercise daily. But the actual duration and frequency depend on various factors, including the pet’s age, body weight, and overall medical condition.
Another effective way to stimulate your pets is by getting them plenty of interactive toys. This is especially helpful for pet parents who lead a traveler’s lifestyle where they’re only available haphazardly.
Workouts and toys help to combat anxiety in pets by stimulating the release of endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals that regulate mental health.
Besides fighting stress and anxiety, exercising your pet regularly may also help keep various lifestyle conditions like obesity and heart disease at bay. Plus, it allows you to spend more quality time and forge unbreakable bonds with your furry companion.
Consider Natural Anxiolytic Supplements
There are tons of natural supplements that you can use to manage stress and anxiety in pets. A notable example is cannabidiol (CBD) and Kratom like products.
These products are marketed for its immense therapeutic benefits. Giving your pet Kratom/CBD-infused treats from trusted suppliers like Kratomkrush is an effective and safe method to beat stress.
CBD fights anxiety in pets by increasing the signaling of neurotransmitters responsible for the regulation of mood and stress, such as serotonin.
However, note that there are no definite scientific data on the health benefits of CBD for popular pets like cats and dogs. Most of the evidence is based on research on mice. Presently the American Kennel Club (AKC)’s Canine Health Foundation is sponsoring a study to try and evaluate the use of CBD in managing epileptic seizures in dogs. This research is being conducted in conjunction with the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary.
Aromatherapy May Help Too
Humans have used aromatherapy to manage stress and anxiety for years. And if recent reports are anything to go by, this stress-busting technique may also benefit pets.
Aromatherapy works in pets the same way it does in humans – releasing pleasant aromas and pheromones that induce a calming effect.
The only thing you’ll need to do is find essential oils specifically tailored to pets’ needs. Note that certain oils, such as cinnamon, eucalyptus oil, and tea tree oil, maybe too powerful and toxic to your furry friend.
Also, pets have more scent receptors than humans also makes them highly sensitive to smells. So, it’s important to exercise moderation to avoid toxicity.
The Bottom Line
Stress is part of a pet’s everyday experience. But if untreated, stress may lead to anxiety.
Fortunately, there are many ways to handle stress and prevent it from becoming a major mental complication.