Pet Help: 5 Key Ways to Control Pet Stress and Anxiety

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As humans, we go through a wide range of emotions and anxiety on a daily basis, even with things we know we cannot control. If these are the struggles that we face from time to time, even at this point of evolution, imagine what our favorite furry friends go through on a daily basis.

Is your beloved pet experiencing panic attacks and anxiety attacks every time you walk out the door? It may be time to start looking into some additional pet help to get them through this difficult period.

If you’re looking for ways to help calm your pet’s anxiety read on for some important information that may be useful.

1. Assess the Problem

Just as no two people are alike, no two pets are alike as well. This is why it’s important to assess the problem from all angles before adopting a one-size-fits-all solution for your pet’s anxiety.

Take into account your pet’s personality, their history, and any health problems they may have experienced in the past.

It’s possible, especially in the case of foster pets, that your beloved animal may have experienced some trauma and exhibiting signs of PTSD. If you’re fortunate enough to have information on your pet’s former ownership history you may have more insight than others on why your pet is experiencing anxiety.

For example, if you find that your pet was abused by children regularly in their previous home, it may be wise to keep children away from your pet in the future as this can trigger a fear reaction.

In some cases, the anxiety may be short-term. For example, if your pet is still a young pup and has yet to learn how to adapt to your absence, it’s natural to believe that they will eventually grow out of the separation anxiety.

2. Ease Them into Being Alone

When it comes to helping your pet get over separation anxiety, it’s best not to throw them directly into the deep end.

This means avoiding any trips or obligations that will force you to stay away from your pet for long periods of time at the beginning of your relationship.

When trying to get your pet to adapt to your absence start off with small trips.

Avoid being gone longer than an hour at a time to get your pet comfortable with the idea that you’ll always be coming back.

It may help to get your pet a favorite chew toy to occupy them in your absence. Another idea is to give them a T-shirt with your smell on it as something to snuggle with and bring them comfort.

Some animals are even comforted by aromatherapy. You can try diffusing essential oils in your home while you’re away. Check out this blog for more information on which scents are best for your animals and which can be dangerous.

3. Remain Calm

There’s nothing more frustrating than coming home from a long day of work to find that your loyal companion has completely run amuck while you were gone. She’s destroyed your favorite pair of shoes, ripped a hole in the side of your couch or decided that the dirt from your planter now belongs all over the floor.

Before you jump into the role of the disciplinarian, try to understand that this was your dog’s way of calming themselves in your absence.

Instead of blaming the animal or punishing them (for something they’ve likely forgotten about by now) take steps and precautions to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.

This may mean creating a spacious and cozy pet-friendly area where they can dwell and relax while you’re away.

4. Get Pet Help

Another way to quell their separation anxiety is investing in a pet sitter or calling a favor upon a friend to keep your fur baby company while you’re away.

In the event that someone else will be watching your animal be sure it’s someone that you trust. They should be someone with experience watching pets, and someone that can follow any specific instructions that are important for your animal’s daily routine.

There are also a number of pet daycares that are tech-friendly enough to allow you to video call your dog so they can get a glimpse of your face throughout the day.

5. Don’t Underestimate Playtime

Sometimes anxiety is not a matter of your absence but more a sign that your animal is not getting the playtime they really need.

Be sure to look into the type of breed you have and research how much energy they need to expel on a daily basis.

This might mean that having your pet accompany you on your morning run or a brisk walk before you head off to work is enough to calm them for the rest of the day.

This might also be motivation enough to take the plunge and adopt another pet for them to play with and keep each other company while you’re away. However, be sure that you have the time, energy and resources needed to take on a second animal before making this decision. 

Calm Your Pet with These Tips

The right pet help can make it easier for you and your animal to adapt to difficult situations, so you can have a long and healthy life together.

Remember, your pet looks to you for the answers. So it’s best to at least pretend that you know what you’re doing.

When you’re still not sure, refer to our blog for more information on how to give your loving pet the care and affection they need no matter what they may be going through.