Anxiety in animals can be triggered by various scenarios and manifests in different ways, for example a dog may bark or whine or might even show hostile behaviour when they are anxious. But a cat might start showing destructive behaviour such as clawing at furniture or failing to use their litter tray.
We’ve put together a handy list of things you can try to help your pet if you think they have anxiety.
Before you try to help your pet, its important to identify what is causing their anxiety, as this will influence the type of treatment you use.
1. Background noise for when they’re alone.
If you feel that your pet’s anxiety is triggered by them being left alone. Music can be soothing to pets just like it is with us or having the television on in the background could help too.
Having some background noise not only helps pets feel as though they’re not alone, but it will also block out other sounds such as traffic or other loud sounds that might trigger their anxiety.
There are many supplements, diffusers and even collars you can try to help your pet stay calm in different environments.
Supplements can be used for most common causes of anxiety such as fireworks, or separation anxiety. Diffusers are great for keeping your pet calm when they are anxious at home, and collars are great for anxiety problems when on the go!
3. Soothing toys
Along with offering comfort, toys can be a great way to distract your pet if they suffer from separation anxiety.
There are a variety of soft toys to choose from, some of which that can be heated to give your pet heat therapy alongside comfort. You could even use your pets favourite soft toy with a calming aromatherapy spray too.
Puzzle toys are great way to offer distraction (and fun!) for your pet. The most commonly used puzzle toys are stuffed with treats or food so your pet has to find them.
When you have identified what is causing your pets anxiety, you can make a training plan to teach them that they no longer see their trigger as a threat. You may be able to train your pet at home, with the help of advice from YouTube videos, articles or blogs. But if you feel you aren’t getting anywhere, it may be worth speaking to a professional dog trainer for more advice.
Making sure your pet has enough exercise is key in treating anxiety. Anxiety is known to give heightened energy levels and tiring them out will help them cope with their anxiety a bit better.
This could be an extra run around the park when you are out for a walk with your dog, or just making sure your cat has plenty to explore and play with in their home environment.
6. Create a safe space
Making a safe space for your pet to retreat to when they are feeling anxious at home is a great way to help them feel more at ease. It doesn’t need to be anything spectacular, something as simple as a comfy bed and their favourite blanket is enough. Just as long as it is somewhere accessible, quiet, and comfortable for them.
If you think your pet has anxiety and you are concerned about your pet’s behaviour it is important that they see their vet, who will be able to help you understand their condition and may be able to offer more suggestions on how to help them.