You know your pet, and you love your pet – but are you in-tune with your pet’s emotional well-being? Every day of your pet’s life can be full of activities that cause your pet to feel fear, anxiety, and stress. It’s important to know what to look for, and how to make your pet feel better when they begin to feel stressed. It’s important to understand your pet’s body language and know what feels “off” to you. Look for signs like:
- Wide eyes
- Flattened ears
- Crouched stance
- Tucked tail
These are a few of the things that can cause stress to your pet, and some ideas on how to make your pet feel a little more relaxed.
Do you take your pet in the car? It may stress them out without you even know it. While a ride in the car may sound like a fun outing, it can be downright scary for your pet. Changes in speed, sudden stops, and even car sickness can make your dog or cat dread taking a ride. Animals should never be allowed to roam freely in the vehicle, using a carrier or seat belt harness will provide stability and security, alleviating much of your pup’s anxiety. If traveling long distances, be sure to stop every two hours to allow your pet to relieve themselves and drink some water. If your pet experiences vomiting during car rides, ask us about anti-nausea medications that can help.
Bad weather and thunderstorms can cause stress in humans, and it’s even worse for pets. Loud noises associated with thunderstorms can be particularly frightening for some pets. Distraction methods, such as playing with your pup, offering peanut butter in a hollow rubber toy, or turning the television up can help take your pet’s mind off of the noises outside. Some animals experience storm phobia at such an intensity that they require prescription medication to help them relax.
Yes, even coming to see us can cause stress for your pet. Even though we work hard to make every single visit a calm and relaxing visit, the sights, sounds, and smells can cause stress for your pet. Taking your pet from their comfortable, familiar home and driving them to the vet, where they might be poked and prodded by unfamiliar faces, can be scary and stressful. The key to alleviating the stress related to vet visits is to help your pet form positive associations with the experience. We encourage you to stop by with your pet at times when you don’t have an appointment. During these “fun” visits, you can bring your pet into the clinic, give them a few treats and praise, let our team show them some love, and then leave. Additionally, we use various methods in our clinic that help to reduce fear, anxiety, and stress during the veterinary visit.
If you think medication or supplements can help, we’d be happy to talk through the options with you. We offer VetSource, an online pet prescription ordering with direct home (or work) delivery. It doesn’t get easier.