Much like their owners, our pets get stressed out! Whether you’re moving your hamster’s cage or getting a new boiler, change can really affect our pets. Although all pets are different, we’ve put together a universal list of tips to help combat pet stress.
Recognise the signs!
How would I know if my pet is stressed? Animals have loads of different ways to tell you they’re anxious. Some of the common symptoms can include:
- Hair loss
- Toileting problems
- Destructive behaviour
- Vocal noises (such as hissing or barking)
- Defensive body language (such as getting low to the ground and pulled back ears)
So, your pet is exhibiting stress symptoms. What can you do to help? Here are our best suggestions:
Avoid overly stimulated environments
Animal senses can differ tremendously from our own. Some of our everyday sounds and sights can be distressing to many of our pets. After you’ve recognised the stress and its factors try and minimise the environment for your pets. Avoid bright lights, loud noises, flashing lights, and shadows of pedestrians and cars.
Create a safe space
We all know that relief of coming home after a stressful day. Well just like us our pets need a place to call their own for some time to themselves. Creating a calming safe space for your pet can drastically reduce their stress. Make sure to give them plenty of space tailor made just for them. Hamsters and rabbits might enjoy a nice hiding tunnel such as Supa Chewi Tube Toy, or perhaps a high snuggly place for your cat? For dogs you can use a stair gate to allow them access to one room, filled with their comforts and a warm bed.
Who doesn’t love a treat? Our pets LOVE their treats, especially with the bonus of play time! The mental stimulation and treat rewards help to keep them occupied during demanding situations. Why not try KONG Rewards Ball Treat Dispenser? The distraction can be beneficial in keeping pets calm.
Low calm sounds
Sometimes our pets develop a separation anxiety, in which case playing some low-level calming music or sounds can help to alleviate the feelings of loneliness. Peaceful sounds can help when settling a pet into a new environment. Using quiet relaxing music or even softly spoken words from you can help unwind your pets, especially small animals!
The key for destressing your pets is to keep at it! Persistence, low exposure to common situations (such as being left alone) and time will help your pet feel more at ease.
If you find there is no alleviation of the symptoms, make sure to check in with your vet! Sometimes stress can be an indicator of an underlying health issue such as an infection, so it is always best to check with a professional.