Anxiety is a generally normal and healthy emotion in animals especially humans where the animal in question goes through a tense feeling and troublesome thinking, i.e. the persistent expectation of impending danger which results in noticeable changes such as elevated blood pressure. If the animal, however, goes through this feeling more often than normal, it becomes a medical condition that requires expertise to treat. In general anxiety disorders constitute of symptoms such; increased irritability, difficulty in maintaining concentration, sleeping problem and relentlessness. Pets such as a dog with anxiety problems always tend to have their tails between their legs most of the time, cannot maintain eye contact with its owners and when you try to, they relocate to another place. Cats, on the other hand, may tend to hide for long periods, become very aggressive and exhibit noticeable changes in their feeding habits.
Causes of anxiety in pets
Anxiety due to separation- some pets are okay most of the time but experience anxiety when left alone. Pets suffering from separation anxiety are likely to develop stress and exhibit certain behaviors regardless of the time which you left them alone. Pets with this disorder especially dog will show destructive behavior and become more violent towards both the owner and other people who visit. A pet with separation anxiety can be helped by getting a toy for it which would keep it busy when you are not around.
Veterinarian visits- some pets are afraid and get stressed during visits to the veterinary doctor. For these pets, it is essential to put a light cloth over the crate to block its visibility until you get to the vet’s office. It may also be of great help if you reward the pet with its favorite treat after every visit to the doctor which will reduce its fear and give it something to look forward to.
Phobias- certain phobias such as loud noises among other things can make pets to develop anxiety issues. Holidays can be very stressful to pets especially when the parties have loud music playing, fireworks people laughing loudly and the constant ringing of the doorbell. Thunderstorms can also be a major cause of anxiety in pets, especially during the rainy seasons.
Anxiety due to illness- anxiety can also be as a result of an illness on the pet. In this type, anxiety on the pet is seen suddenly on an animal that was previously okay. If your pet exhibits sudden behavioral changes, it is advisable to take it to the vet as soon as possible to determine the root cause of such changes and provide the required healthcare.
Jealousy- this mostly happens especially when a new pet is introduced in the family. You may see a level of rivalry between the two pets which maybe lead to anxiousness. Cats, however, have a natural way of coming to a resolution and is therefore wise to just let them be if this is the cause of their anxiousness.
How to establish if your pet is anxious.
Pets are likely to be anxious when they are confusing and stressful situations; they may also become anxious when around things that trigger previous stressful experiences which they went through. It is easy to establish if your pet is anxious by mere observation of their behavioral changes and watching out for any physical symptoms of anxiety. The various ways to ascertain if your pet is anxious may include;
Behavioral changes- anxious animals tend to keep to themselves and avoid socially active areas. Pets tend to hide away when you have company in the house or when there is another cat or dog in the house; the dog will avoid eye contact with its owner or other individuals and keep to itself for most of the time.
Increased aggressiveness- the pets becomes more aggressive towards both the owner and other people within the house. They also tend to become destructive of items within the house such as pillows especially when you are not around in the house. CBD for cats can be very useful especially in these conditions of aggressiveness.
They become very vocal- dogs and cats tend to bark or meow a lot day in day out when they are anxious. You may notice the sudden increase in your pet’s vocalization especially if they have been previously relatively quiet.
A visit to the veterinary- since vets are animal experts; this is the surest way of determining whether your pet is just sick or has an anxiety disorder. It is, therefore, crucial to visit the veterinarian if you suspect your pet is experiencing anxiety for diagnosis and medical intervention.
Three ways to naturally reduce anxiety in pets
There are some remedies which can reduce the symptoms of anxiety in our pets out in the market. CBD is one among these many products which have been seen to impact positive changes especially as far as anxiety in cats is concerned and by administering the correct dosage of this compound as stipulated by the CBD dosage chart a wide range of ailments can be treated effectively.
Herbal therapy- there are many herbs that can play a major role in helping to relax your pet and soothe against anxiousness. Some of these herbs include; chamomile- it acts as a sedative and can help relax your pet and soothe it when feeling nervous, valerian- it is also a sedative and encourages relaxation of the pet.
Essential oils- oils derived from leaves such a lavender have proved to be very effective for reducing anxiety and calming the pet in question. These oils can be blended to target specific anxiety such as separation anxiety and general anxiety. These oils can then be diffused in the room for consumption leaving a way for the pet to leave if the oils make him uncomfortable.
Bach flower therapy- this method involves the use of flower essences that can be ingested to effectively reduce anxiety and relieve stress in both pets and humans. Specific flowers are useful in dealing with a recently adopted pet with anxiety; however, a combination of different flowers can also be used to get the desired effect. If your pet proves difficult in taking these remedies, then you can apply on your hands and gently rub on the pet’s body.