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Stress Awareness in Dogs and Cats
04/29/16 at 02:21 PM | Published Under Pet Socialization
If you are looking for a good excuse to go out and splurge on some new toys for your dog or cat, you can assuage any guilt about your shopping spree by knowing that toys are a great stress-reliever for pets. New toys will in fact boost their levels of both mental and physical well being.
April is Stress Awareness month and focuses on both people and pets.
Lots of everyday activities around the home can stress pets without pet parents really being aware that there is in fact an issue.
Being left home alone for extended periods can be a great cause for anxiety especially if your canine is an only dog or a single cat in the household. This is one reason why behaviorists suggest where possible to have two pets so that they can keep each other company.
Toys can really help because they offer a distraction when you walk out the door. And you can extend the play time further by hiding toys and treats around your home so that it become a treasure hunt that will occupy time.
Plush toys such as goDog dragons will provide hours of fun and are the ideal distraction and comfort toys for dogs to toss about like prey and subdue and then go to sleep alongside. The dragons come in different sizes stuffed plump or flat (without stuffing) and there are elongated ones too – all with Chew Guard Technology to ensure they won't be shredded during one playtime. It’s important to remember that cats love plush toys too along with crinkly bags and of course anything with catnip. The euphoria from catnip wears off quickly but nevertheless its ideal to distract cats especially if you have to go out or for short periods or when other things are happening in the home.
For example, noises, especially workmen, are a huge stress factor for both dogs and cats. Whether it’s workmen doing maintenance or renovations inside or outside, or, whether it’s the weekly garden service.
So if you cat is hiding, it may not be that she’s feeling anti-social; she could very well be stressed. Other typical signs of feline stress are excessive grooming, chasing her tail, loss of appetite and vomiting and diarrhea. Evan barking dogs can stress a cat! Under these circumstances, pets are best sequestered in a room with toys, food and water (and litter boxes).
The same signs of stress apply to dogs along with destructive behavior, such as chewing furniture and other items in the home, excessive barking both inside and outside, peeing and pooping around the house.
And… wait for it ... if you have teenagers in your home who insist on playing their music at ear-deafening volume that’s a huge stress factor for pets too. Cats in particular hate loud music especially heavy metal. So again, if your cat is hiding, it may not be that she’s feeling anti-social; she could very well be very stressed.
A pending visit to the vet’ office is another stressor. That’s why a lot of pets hide when that carrier comes out. Sherpa carriers are roomy and well ventilated. It’s really important to make your carrier a home-away-from home by keeping a nice familiar blanket inside or some toys.
It's a really good idea to let your cat or dog discover a carrier for themselves and find it's a “friendly place” so that they are not stressed when they see it come out. But there’s no question that the actual vet visit is extremely stressful too. If your pet really hates the vet, let the vet’s office know ahead of time that you will be sitting in your car until its time for your appointment rather than hanging in the waiting room where the noise of barking dogs and meowing cats can aggravate the situation.