Most of us know the wretched feelings of anxiety, panic, or that jitteriness in the pit of your stomach that won’t go away. As humans, we have the ability to reason and determine the possible cause of such unpleasant emotions and find our own remedies and methods of coping. But when animals experience fear, they are helpless to do anything but react, and suffer miserably until their owners provide relief for them. Here are some methods for facilitating the relaxation that your beloved pet may desperately need.
A happily tired dog is much more likely to be a relaxed dog. Twenty to sixty minutes of daily exercise will do wonders for burning off nervousness in your pet. If you’re a cat lover, a scratching post and plenty of enticing toys may make both of your lives easier. Don’t overlook the benefits of mental exercise, such as exploring new places, training, and supervised social interaction with other animals.
Getting Ready to Leave Cues
Is your pet’s problem separation anxiety? If so, this is very common and can be treated by regularly practicing the same basic moves which indicate your departure. Picking up and putting down your car keys, opening and closing the door, and putting on your coat when you have no intention of actually leaving can reassure your pet by getting him used to the routine. Step outside and then come back in and sit down for a few moments. It may take time, but your pet will eventually learn that these particular actions don’t mean the world is coming to an end.
There are those animals who feel more secure in their own little “den.” What may seem confining to us can be a haven of safety for them. Consistently following the “plenty of exercise” rule ensures that time spent in the crate is for relaxing and sleeping. Make sure you leave a small dish of water and a few chew toys, along with a comfortable blanket. It may help to leave a radio on as well.
Doggie Day Care
Being left alone all day while the rest of the family is at work or school can be a breeding ground for restlessness. It can also result in damage to your home via chewing furniture and personal belongings, or dragging the potted plants to the middle of your expensive rug. In the last decade, many facilities for the daily care of animals have sprung up. They offer the benefits of friendly interaction between animals and humans in a controlled environment. If you can afford even a couple of days a week, your pet may show a marked improvement in his anxiety level.
Is your pet’s distress situational? Does he tremble underneath the bed at the sound of an approaching thunderstorm, or search for places to hide when Fourth of July fireworks explode? If so, there are medications that can ease the tension, but they must be prescribed by a knowledgeable veterinarian. Be aware that these are strong drugs, and even when the dosage is mild or intermittent, there can be side effects. If homeopathic remedies are more to your taste, search online for recommendations and then discuss them with your vet. Alleviating your pet’s anxiety issues will make everyone in the family happier.
Beth Lenour is a writer for Seduction where you can find great tips and advice about the art of seducing your partner.