Humans and pets alike can suffer from symptoms of stress and anxiety. When it comes to your pets some symptoms are easily identifiable like shaking, diarrhea or hiding. While others are simply your dog not acting like themselves or shying away from human interaction or in some cases acting out and destructive behavior. Since our animals can’t speak to us and tell us what is causing them stress we have to use our best context clues to determine the issue. Even still if the issue is a common occurrence like dog anxiety related to thunderstorms, coping mechanisms or treatments for dog and cat stress will be necessary to make sure your pet feels safe and calm when those instances occur.
So what are some ways to help your dog or cat cope with anxiety?
Dedicated Attention: Sometimes when we have stressors in our own lives we can act differently towards our pets and not even realize it. Maybe we are trying to meet some kind of deadline at work and logging long hours or spending a little more time hurried around our homes focusing on our own tasks. Our pets are highly entuned to even small changes in our behavior. Make sure that your stress doesn’t become your pet’s stress by ensuring you are spending adequate time every day to spend with them especially if you sense anxiety in the pet. This quality time can include play time, walks, cuddling, stroking, all the good things our pets need from us and in all honesty, we need from them too for our own stress release!
Exercise: Just like exercise is good for humans our pets need exercise as well, especially dogs. One of the ways you can help your dog’s stress and anxiety is making sure they get out of the house which is a place where they most likely exhibit a lot of their stress behavior. Tire them out, play catch, chase them around the backyard, or just go for a walk around the block. If your dog is feeling anxious, taking their mind off of the stressor at hand by changing their environment might just be the trick.
Anxiety Supplements: Many pet owners will give their pet a small dose of Benadryl or Baby Aspirin when a stressful event may occur. If you are looking for a more natural approach, there is also research that shows CBD can benefit dogs who suffer from occasional or frequent anxiety. CBD is a natural derivative of the cannabis plant (not the part that causes a high) and there have been quite a few breakthroughs of CBD for anxiety in humans and pets. CBD is now available in the form of capsules, tincture drops, and CBD treats specially formulated for pets.
Swaddles or Compression: If your pet only suffers from occasional or event-based stress like fireworks, thunderstorms, or the car there are many compression style garments you can purchase. This product basically creates a similar sensation a baby feels when being swaddled. It is naturally relaxing. A similar effect can be achieved by wrapping your pets’ favorite blanket tightly around them or using an ACE bandage to create a light compression to calm the pet.
Environment: The last thing is to make sure your pet feels comfortable in their environment wherever that may be. If your dog has a favorite blanket or cat has a favorite toy, make sure that is easily accessible to them during the day at home, on the road, or while staying outside the home. If your pet is prone to hiding during a storm make sure there is easy access to that place, a comfortable item nearby like a toy, blanket or bed, and water available. All of these things will help your pet ride out the storm so to speak in a way that makes them feel as safe as possible.
Depending on the exact type of anxiety and stress your pet deals with any number of these solutions may be combined or practiced to lessen the intensity. To learn more about CBD for Dogs or CBD for Cats check out Holistapet a trusted provider of organic, lab tested, CBD pet products.