Stress and Pets
Our pets are a great natural stress reliever for us... but what about their stress? This page will briefly cover some of the common causes of your pet's stress and how you can help them relieve it.
Just like in humans, boredom in pets can cause stress. It can come out in forms of aggression, agitation, and can sometimes lead to destruction... ever seen the movie Turner & Hooch? When Hooch got bored, the destruction was overwhelming! So how do you help your pet overcome the stress of boredom?
The most important factor is to make sure they're getting the proper amount of exercise. Don't forget that exercise can also reduce and prevent your stress as well, so take every opportunity you have to get some exercise together.
Proper socialization can also help with boredom. Often if your pet is left alone all day while you're at work... they'll be bored. No wonder they go bananas when you get home. They're happy to see you because they love you... but also because they're lonely and bored. If you work outside of the home, look into daytime options for your pet such as doggy daycare. Not only will the get supervision and exercise, they'll also get much needed playtime with other pets. And when you bring them home at the end of the day, they will be worn out and ready to relax with you.
And of course, take the time to play with your pet. No one said that having a pet was a piece of cake. It takes work, and your animal companion has needs that you are responsible for filling. Playtime is one of those needs. But the good news is that even if you're tired and stressed out at the end of the day, spending good quality time with your pet can reduce your blood pressure and relieve your stress as well as your pet's.
The sometimes difficult part of raising an animal is their inability to tell you what is wrong. Similar to a human baby. It can be frustrating if you know that your pet is stressed but you aren't sure why. So here is a list of a few environmental factors that could be causing your pet stress:
These are just a few of the things to be aware of if your pet seems stressed and you're unsure why.
Just like humans, animals who lack proper nutrition or who are suffering from pain or illness can become quite stressed. It's important to become knowledgeable about what type of diet is needed for your particular pet. Keep them on a regular feeding schedule and avoid over feeding. Obesity can also be a source of stress. In addition, be sure that your pet always has access to fresh, clean water.
If your pet is sick or in pain, they will likely be stressed. In addition to any care recommended by your vet, your care and attention can make a difference. Be sure that your friend has a comfortable and quiet place to rest where they will not be disturbed by other pets or people. Showing them the love and attention that they show you when you are sick can also do wonders for their stress levels. Spending time with your pet can increase hormones in their brain that will initiate feelings of calm and combat feelings of stress.
Caring for an animal is a big responsibility. And just as you experience stress, they do too. Be sure to pay attention to your pets behaviors so that you can begin to detect when they need your help to relieve their stress.