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Mira Mar Vet, your local vet in Albany

Anxious pet? Here’s how can you help

by | Mar 6, 2024 | Latest Monthly Newsletters, Pet Care

Anxiety is being increasingly recognised in pets, with up to 20% of dogs believed to have an anxiety problem. Anxiety may be situation-specific (e.g. triggered by thunderstorms or unfamiliar visitors) or more generalised.

If you think your pet might be affected by anxiety, try not to worry – there’s a lot that you can do to help them! Read on for tips on how you can support your pet and how we can help.

1. Learn how to recognise symptoms of stress or anxiety in your pet

Being able to recognise symptoms of stress or anxiety in your pet means you can start taking note of situations that are likely to trigger them.

Anxiety in pets can manifest as a fight, flight or freeze response. Click the links to identify some of these body language signals in dogs and cats.

2. Minimise stress

It’s important to offer your pet a safe zone at home, which includes a door so that they can feel enclosed and protected even if guests are around. The safe zone can be a crate or room with dim lighting, a comfortable bed, and soft background noise to block out external sounds. Create positive associations with the space by regularly offering your pet special treats or toys there.

3. Support your pet’s general health

It’s important to give your pet a regular healthy outlet for their physical energy with breed-appropriate daily exercise. Try to follow this up with relaxing “brain games” – this may involve using Lick-Mats, puzzle toys, scented treat hunts, or chew treats that keep your pet occupied and calm.

4. Seek veterinary assistance

If your pet’s anxiety is regularly hurting their quality of life (or yours!), it is recommended that you seek help from our experienced vets. This may involve the use of short- or long-term anti-anxiety supplements or medications, and a behavioural modification plan to build your pet’s confidence.

With the right treatment plan, we’ll have everyone living their best life in no time!