How to Reduce Stress in Dogs and CatsDid you ever think your dog or cat could suffer from stress just as we can? In addition to occasional events such as thunderstorms or fireworks, recent studies have shown even the most pampered pets have daily stressors that can affect their long-term health. Feline lower urinary tract disease, inflammatory bowel syndrome, obesity, gastric dilatation volvulus (bloat), noise phobias and separation anxiety have all been linked to chronic stress in both dogs and cats.
CausesJust like with people, there are many stressful events within a pet's world. Holidays, storms, traveling, boarding, grooming, and separation anxiety can all create stress for your pet. Animals can become very upset when they aren't sure what is happening, which is often the case with loud fireworks or thunder. There is also reason to believe that the way a mammal responds to stress and chronic disease is directly related to nutrient deficiencies, imbalances and toxicity.
- The most important thing you can do for your pet is to provide balanced nutrition
- Give your pets a daily supplement to ensure they are replacing stress-nutrient loss. Vitamin mineral supplements such as Doc Roy's® Daily Care Feline or Canine provide your pet with the nutrients that they need.
- They don't appreciate fireworks or thunder! Keep them inside with music, and be sure to stay calm around them. Yelling at them only reaffirms their thinking that bad things are happening.
- Use treats or a favorite toy to diffuse negative feelings associated with leaving or loud noises. Give them a favorite toy that they only get when there is an issue. A good option for dogs is a KONG® toy with peanut butter in it. This will distract them for hours and get them through stressful times.
- Use calming agents that support your effort. Doc Roy's® Docile Dog™ is naturally formulated to calm the anxious dog. It is very effective when used in anticipation of stressful events, such as fireworks or company coming over. Start this natural supplement at least two weeks before the event. Calming pheromone products like Farnam® Comfort Zone® Adaptil® Collar with D.A.P. for dogs or Farnam® Comfort Zone® Diffuser with Feliway® for cats are also effective. These calming products help pets maintain normal behavior.
Taking steps to calm your pet is worth the effort. The goal is to help pets cope with stress. Over time, they will learn to tolerate these stressful situations and live a longer, happier life.
If you need help, call us at 1-800-786-4751.
Don Bramlage, DVM, Director of Veterinary Services at Revival Animal Health
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The materials, information and answers provided through this website are not intended to replace the medical advice or services of your personal veterinarian or other pet health care professional. Consult your own veterinarian for answers to specific medical questions, including diagnosis, treatment, therapy or medical attention.