We all understand the terrible feeling of anxiety. While it’s easy to relate to other humans dealing with anxiety, we may not think that many of our pets deal with the same anxious feelings on a daily basis. Let’s go through some signs that your pet might be suffering form anxiety and what can be done to treat it.

What Is Pet Anxiety?

Stress in pets presents itself in panic attacks during events that are based on real events or perceived ones.

Separation anxiety is of course one of the main stressors that 20% of dogs experience. During separation anxiety, pets don’t feel safe when separated from their masters or people they are used to being around.

Another anxiety they often go through is called “thunderstorm anxiety”. Loud noises such as thunder, fireworks can trigger panic attacks.

Pets that have experienced abuse, neglect and cruelty, may suffer constant anxiety; although, any animal with with even a normal past can experience stress.

Anxiety In Pets

Destructive behaviors is the most common clinical sign of pet anxiety. These actions often mean your pet is in distress: 

  • Destroying and chewing household items
  • Urinating and defecating in places they aren’t suppose to
  • Salivating too much
  • Excessive barking
  • Digging
  • Attempting to escape
  • Trying to stop you from leaving
  • Pacing

    How To Aid Pets Suffering From Stress

    First, always consult a professional veterinarian if you think your animal has serious anxiety issues. Your vet will examine the situation and will check the blood work to see if there are any medical complications that might induce anxiety and stress. 

    Once the vet is done the diagnosis of your pets anxiety, there are a few things you can do to help your pet deal with the anxiety and discomfort.

    1. Behavior Modification

    When dealing with anxiety, the behavior modification methods most Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists (CAAB or ACAAB) or board-certified veterinary behaviorists (Dip ACVB) use are desensitization and counter-conditioning.

    Desensitization involves exposing the pet to a stimulus that creates anxiety at a level at or below which fear is likely to be exhibited.

    Counter-conditioning actually changes the pet's attitude or emotional response to a stimulus. It generally involves a complex training schedule at home, one created by a professional in the field.

    Speak with your veterinarian regarding a proper behavior modification regimen for your pet.

    1. Behavior Changes

    When facing anxiety in pets, behaviour modifications many Animal Behaviorists or certified veterinary experts use are counter-conditioning and desensitization.

    Counter-conditioning will modify the pet’s outlook or response to certain stimuluses. Overall it involves a in-depth training schedule at home, one created by an expert in the field. 

    Consult with your vet concerning proper behaviour changes.

    NOTE: Do not punish your pet for the behaviour they show when they are stressed. This behavior is not linked to disobedience. It is a normal response to their perception. Reacting negatively will only make the situation worse.

    2. Weighted Blankets + Compression

    Weighted Blankets combined with compression can be useful tools for calming humans and our pets as well!

    Many vets have confirmed that using a Weighted Blanket during a stress episode during a storm, car rides, separation, etc, can help reduce their animals anxiety. Weighted Blankets can be a luxurious relaxation treat for dogs!

    Creating a safe and loving environment for your pet is a no brainer and Weighted Blankets is a great way to improve the mental and physical health of your furry loved ones! 

    3. Supplements & Medications 

    For animals suffering with severe stress disorders, natural supplements and anti-anxiety drugs are often prescribed.

    Natural supplements, like melatonin, may also help calm your pet’s nerves. Always ask an expert before giving your pet any medication or supplements.

    Final Thoughts On Weighted Blankets For Dogs

    Stress and anxiety is real in people and in animals. It’s important to understand that pets also feel the same feelings of stress and the terrible feeling of feeling unsafe and abandoned. Try a Weighted Blanket on your pet to see if their stress reduces! We are sure you will be pleasantly surprised.