Thursday, November 17, 2016

Is Your Pet Stressed? How To Recognize Stress In Your Pet

Stress in pets is more common than you may realize.

The good news is there is a lot you can do to reduce your pet's stress.

Stress has become an accepted part of our daily lives, whether we like it or not. The holiday season can be a time of joy and it can increase feelings of stress and anxiety. 

Your animal family can experience stress and anxiety more often than you may realize. Stress, if left unchecked, can negatively impact your pet's behavior, health and overall quality of life. 

My dog Bodhi demonstrates 2 signs of stress:
lip licking and yawning

Animals prefer to live in a peaceful, calm environments. Given the choice, healthy pets will remove themselves from the source of their anxiety, like moving to another room, hiding in a closet or going outside. If your pet feels unheard, it’s possible that she will act out on her anxiety by chewing paws or growling.

If you are feeling anxious, there is a good likelihood your pet will take on your stressful feelings to help you feel better. Why? Pets are incredibly sensitive to the energy in their environment whether it's joy, peace, anxiety or stress. Plus they don't like it when their humans suffer.

As a pet parent, it’s important to figure out why your pet feels stressed-out. Then it's up to you to provide your animal family with balanced and peaceful solutions like daily exercise, socialization, and play. 

When an animal's early warning signs of stress are ignored or missed, some animals become frustrated which may lead to growling or even worse, biting. Of course, most pets prefer your guidance and help long before they hit their "breaking point."

Animals use a variety of physical gestures or body language to communicate stress and anxiety. 

11 Signs of Stress in Pets:

  1. Excessive panting, even when it's not hot;
  2. Tail between hind legs;
  3. Excessive whining or other types of vocalization;
  4. Constant lip licking and/or excessive yawning;
  5. Excessive scratching, paw licking/sucking and over-grooming;
  6. Restless pacing and can't settle down;
  7. Hiding behind and under furniture or in closets;
  8. Decreased appetite, or refusal to eat their food especially special treats;
  9. Peeing/pooping in irregular locations like in the house or out of the litter box;
  10. Clingy and not wanting to leave your side or lap;
  11. Excessive Shedding.
If your pet is exhibiting any of the above physical gestures including stress colitis, contact your veterinarian to make sure your pet isn't ill.

Experiencing stress and anxiety doesn't feel good to pets, so it's best to alleviate the cause of their stress as soon as you can. It's up to you to learn how to read your animal companion's body language to determine your pet's state of mind. me

3 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Pet's Stress:

  • Regular exercise and play can help your pet release excess energy and stress. These daily rituals also build confidence in your pet. Walking and playing with your animal family is a great way to reduce stress for you, too.
  • Animals do understand the reasons behind their behaviors. Like humans, animals appreciate it when they feel heard and validated. If you feel your pet is stressed, but not sure why, then contact an Animal Communicator like me, so I can give you insight as to the source of your pet's stress and how best to alleviate it. 
  • Animal Reiki naturally alleviates stress in animals. An Animal Reiki treatment gently releases energetic blockages and imbalances while your pet is in a deep, relaxed space.