Simple Steps to Keep Your Pet Stress-Free
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Published by TOP4 Team
Pet stress often comes from a change in environment or surroundings, such as moving to a new home or spending more time away from home. Here are some of the things you need to know to keep your pet stress-free.
Prolonged stress might bring behavioural changes in your dog. Your stressed dog might experience accidents, aggression, destructive behaviour such as biting or chewing furniture, excessive barking, or illness such as vomiting or diarrhea.
How to keep your dog stress-free:
- Play with your dog. Things like fetch, tug-of-war and hide-and-seek are easy ways to help increase your dog’s mental stimulation and exercise.
- Supervise play dates, outings to the dog park and obedience/training classes. Keep watch on your dog during these activities and decide how to proceed at a later date. Keep in mind that some dogs tend to be more isolated, and play dates or dog park visits might stress them out more.
- Leave on a television or radio in the house when you're away from home. Buy a few toys for your dog.
When your cat is stressed, he or she might display these behaviours: aggression toward people or other animals, hiding, loss of appetite or urine marking.
How to eliminate or alleviate your cat’s stressor:
- Give your cat an area or hideaway where he or she can run to.
- Keep your cat's litter box clean.
- Provide some toys for your cat to play with when you're away from home.
- Spend time playing with your cat each day.
- Set up an area where your cat can climb up.
Noise also can be a source of stress. These are the general rules that will help you keep your pet calm during noisy moments:
- Keep pets indoors when fireworks or thunder are expected. Try to stay at home with them.
- Close all windows, curtains and doors.
- Provide toys, treats and other distractions to keep pets occupied.
- Make sure your pets have the appropriate tag for easy identification if they become lost.
- Talk to your pet about what to expect.
- Turn on the TV or play some music.
- Don't punish your pet for displaying behavioural changes due to stress.
- Act normal and don’t entertain fearful behaviour (pets will sense how you feel).
- Allow them to hide in a safe place if they choose. This can be a blanket lined cupboard, pet igloo, etc. Don't try to coax them out.
- Offer calming flower essences like Rock Rose, Mimulus or Pet Rescue Remedy.
- Walk dogs during daylight hours.
- Close bird cages, rabbit hutches and other fixed enclosures. Ensure that the pet door and windows are closed and locked.
- Make sure that your fences and gates are secure and that your pet can’t escape through them or over them.
If your pet is displaying extreme behavioural changes during stressful times, consult a veterinarian to help you calm your pet down.