There may come a time in your pet’s life when they begin to experience some form of anxiety or stress. It could be a result from a change in their routine, exposure to noise, or even an illness or pain of some sort. No loving pet owner likes to see their pet experience stress or anxiety. Of course, it is important to consult your veterinarian to be certain that the stress or anxiety isn’t being caused by a serious medical or behavioral condition. But once your vet verifies that it isn’t a major medical issue, why not try out some natural remedies to help calm your pet?
Physical and Mental Stimulation
Without even intending it, sometimes our stress can influence our pets. A hectic work schedule or long hours away can result in your pet not getting the mental or physical stimulation they may be used to receiving. If you have a particularly needy pet, an extended separation could cause them to feel anxious or upset. If you were gone for a while and you can sense that your furbaby might be needing some extra attention or stimulation, consider getting them some fresh air. Take them outside for a walk around the block. Play some fetch in the backyard. For your feline friends, break out the kitty laser pointer or any cat toy that will get them moving around. With physical activity, your pet will have the opportunity to stretch their legs and clear their mind from their “stressful day.”
Mental stimulation can also greatly improve their mood and mindset. Consider teaching your dog a new trick. This will pull their focus away from whatever is causing their stress or anxiety in the first place. The fact that you are engaging with them one on one is also a major plus- especially for pets who are stressed because of their extended absence from their chosen person. A lot of stress and anxiety is caused by boredom. When you take the time to mentally stimulate your pet, you are showing them the extra attention that they want/need while also taking their mind off of whatever may be bothering them. They will start to understand that while they are separated from you occasionally- you still come home, and they always get a few special moments of one on one time.
Herbs, Oils, Supplements & Pheromones
There are also some effective oils and herbs that can aid as calming agents for an anxious or stressed pet. Amongst the most popular is Lavender oil. This particular substance can be used for pets with travel anxiety. Just apply a couple pf drops to the corner or edge of a travel blanket or pillow. Upon inhalation of the scent, your pet will feel the natural calming effect that lavender provides. Melatonin is another calming agent that can help a pet stay calm for a short time frame. Perhaps before a quick trip or an impending thunderstorm. A typical dose is 1 mg per 20 pounds. There is also Valerian, L-theanine or L-tryptophan supplements. These are commonly recommended by veterinarians to aid pets with mild to moderate anxiety.
Pheromones can also be very effective in calming your stressed out pet. They can be found as a plug-in diffusers, wipes, sprays or even collars. For dogs, pheromones contain a form of the calming hormone that is produced by a nursing mother. Cats are attracted and calmed by a feline facial hormone that is secreted when they greet each other or mark their territory at home. By using pheromone therapy, your pet can experience the calming effect naturally.
Remember, be sure to double check with your veterinarian before using supplements, herbs or oils on your pet. You always want to make sure that you use proper dosage amounts and that you understand the best practices for administration. Certain essential oils can be toxic to cats if they are ingested. Never apply them directly to your pet without consulting your veterinarian first.
So next time you notice that your pet is feeling somewhat stressed out or anxious, considering trying out one of these natural techniques. A calm and relaxed pet lives a happier and more fulfilled life.