Pets experience anxiety just like people do. And while going into great depth of all the reasons behind pet anxiety is beyond the scope of this article, we will touch on some of the more common reasons pets experience anxiety and how to manage it. Anxiety in pets can present itself in a variety of ways. Signs an include any of the following: panting, drooling, licking paws or air licking, shaking/trembling, tucked tail, or in more pronounced cases destructive behavior to the home, furniture, or objects. Behavior modification and training are the cornerstone of any anxiety management program.
Separation anxiety is a commonly used term that covers a large spectrum of behavioral problems and severities and can affect both cats and dogs. Separation anxiety simply put is anxiety and the associated often destructive behaviors exhibited when a pet is separated from their owners. Treatment/management is often a multifactorial process with behavioral modification and training at the core of any successful plan. I encourage ANY pet owner with a dog experiencing separation anxiety to engage the help of a trainer. Other things to include in managing separation anxiety include:
4) Talk to you veterinarian! – It’s important to rule out medical causes for separation anxiety. Some pets require pharmaceutical management while you initiate your training plan. Please talk to you vet for more info!
Storms with thunder and wind can be very scary for some pets! Dogs and cats have hearing that cover different decibels than ours, and these sounds are amplified. Many dogs and cats know the storm is coming before we even notice a change in the clouds! Here are some quick solutions:
Our pets are traveling more than ever, but for some dogs and cats traveling in cars and airplanes can be a stressful experience. Training and behavior modification is important for helping with reducing travel anxiety. Please talk to your trainer about easy to do training exercises to help reduce anxiety. But some things to incorporate into training include (and maybe you’re seeing a pattern here!):
I hope this gives you a little insight. Anxiety is a far reaching problem, and we barely scratched the surface here. If you feel your pet is experience anxiety please reach out to The Vet Set, or your veterinarian for further guidance and knowledge. Treatment is based upon training, behavior modification, and different tools to help calm the pet. Patience and consistency is imperative for success.