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Anxiety is common among humans, but it’s common for your pet to be suffering as well. A large number of animals have anxiety, which can stem from their past environment or previous abandonment. Although anxiety is unpleasant it is also a healthy emotion. If certain levels are left unchecked, a pet may develop behavioral issues or a severe anxiety disorder. How do you know what causes anxiety, the symptoms, and how you can treat it? Let’s dive in!

Causes

Anxiety can arise due to many common causes such as separation, aging, or fear. Certain situations such as new environments, loud noises, strange animals, strange people, car rides, or vet visits can also cause reactions. Some pets might be affected more severely than others. Anxiety may increase more in age. If your pet is getting older and has started destroying furniture and using the bathroom in the house, they might be suffering from separation anxiety. If you notice and learning, memory or perception changes give us a call. Your pet could be showing early stages of cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS), which is similar to Alzheimer’s in humans.  

Symptoms

There are several things to look out for to determine if your pet has anxiety. Here are several symptoms to look out for:

  • Aggression
  • Excessive barking
  • Excessive whining or howling
  • Excessive licking or drooling
  • Depression
  • Panting excessively
  • Restlessness
  • Urinating or defecating in your home
  • Shaking

Treatment

When an animal is stressed often it will often show in misbehavior and nervousness. If your dog is experiencing some of the symptoms above, there are ways to make life a little better for you both. What can you do to help them? Let’s take a look at some tips.

Learn your pet’s body language. The more you can tune into your pet’s feelings, the better you can understand what your furry friend is saying. Keeping an eye out for certain signs can help you be prepared in coping.

Seek out a trainer. According to the American Kennel Club, one training strategy is desensitization. The owner slowly introduces the animal to “the source of anxiety, preferably in small doses and at a decreased intensity. Repeated exposure and rewarding positive behavior can go a long way toward managing anxiety.”

Try natural medication. If you are considering medication, a conversation with your vet must come first. There are numerous calming medications and supplements, but we highly recommend reaching out to us first. The safety of your pet is our top concern. 

Create a calming environment. Using a diffuser in your home can help calm your cat if he or she has problems scratching, spraying, or hiding. If your cat suffers from anxiety due to a new environment, loud noises (thunder, fireworks, etc), travel, vet visits, and more they could you something to ease the stress. Placing this diffuser starter kit by Feliway in the area your pet retreats can help give comfort at home. 

If your dog is uncomfortable, avoid certain situations. If your pet is uneasy in a public place, try not to force it. It’s okay to be disappointed if your dog isn’t into the dog park or dining out at brunch. Instead, they may enjoy a hike with you alone or spending time playing with you at home. Giving your dog comfort will help ease them into increased happiness. 

If your pet suffers from anxiety allow us to help. We can help identify the type of anxiety and possible causes and triggers whether it is situational or severe. Your technician will help rule out any medical conditions that could be increasing anxiety or causing any symptoms.

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