In much the same way that we humans suffer with stress related issues, our furry four-legged friends also suffer. However, while we humans can verbally express how we are feeling and can take action to minimize our stress levels, our beloved pets cannot.
Here are some tips and pointers for helping to reduce your pets stress levels when you spot the symptoms:
Tire them out!
Perhaps the simplest and most effective tried and tested method for helping to minimize the level of stress that your canine is enduring, is through exercise. Walk them regularly, play with them regularly and interact with them in a positive, active way to help promote their overall health, and keep them feeling happy and less stressed.
Tire their brains out, too!
Mental stimulation for your pet can be equally effective as a strategy for minimizing stress levels as physical activities, and when you combine the two, you get the best result. Use toys and treats to help motivate your dog while playing or walking them and keep both their brains and body’s healthy and active.
Crate training can be comforting:
While we know that our pets will need to get used to a crate if we’re travelling with them or transporting them any distance in a safe and controlled manner, crates can also provide your stressed pet with a safe and comforting place to retreat to when it all gets too much.
Security blankets and other comforting items:
Helping your pet to feel secure when they’re stressed is very important, and even if you already use the crate method, you can still add other items to help comfort them. Blankets, towels and toys with your scent on them will almost certainly be of comfort to a stressed pet.
Music is known for its soothing effects upon both humans and animals, so why not try leaving some gentle music on for your pet the next time you leave them alone. Separation anxiety can be incredibly stressful for some pets, but such a small action can help to alleviate their suffering.
This may be easier said than done, but if you notice that your pet is become stressed, it’s important that you do your level best to remain calm, otherwise you’ll simply add to the stress that your dog is already experiencing. We also shouldn’t reward them when they are behaving in a stressed manner, since this serves only to show them that they can act this way again and get a tasty treat for their troubles.
Be there for your pet:
Most pet owners don’t need an excuse to cuddle up with their dog, but if your pooch is stressed, then lying down with them, touching them and holding them can go a long way to helping them feel safe, secure and loved.
If these methods are still not working for you and your pooch, then talk to a veterinary or training professional, but please try not to resort to using sedatives as they can be harmful for your dog and can even be addictive for them.