21 Feb 2013
February 21, 2013

I’m So Stressed

Our lives are so fast paced and hectic these days, that we sometimes don't realize our pets are subject to stress also. Long work days, little human interaction, and frequent comings and goings often leave the pets in the house as the "low man on the totem pole", so to speak. A pet's stress can manifest itself as becoming destructive, forgetting about housebreaking manners, and other behavioral changes.  There are things you can do in an effort to enrich their environment.
  • Hide treats for the pet to discover throughout the day. Stuffing and freezing a Kong can keep a dog occupied for hours. Buddy toys can be filled with kibble. Pets must manipulate the toys, almost like a puzzle, to retrieve the food. When purchasing, choose the appropriate size and, to start, only allow use while you are home. Once you know your pet can use them safely, you may leave them out when you go to work. 
  • Phermones, either as diffusers (Feliway) or sprays and collars can help to calm anxious pets. There are herbal sprays and oils (lavender, Rescue remedy) that can be used to treat their bedding and surroundings.
  • Exercise is good for both the pet and its owner-whether it be a quick trip around the block, a game of fetch or laser tag (for cats) or a standing date at day care, an active pet is a happy pet.
  • Cats love to climb and be "above it all." Installing a cat tower or windowsill perch can give harried felines a place to escape.
Put yourself in your pet's place. They crave human interaction and we are often too busy or too tired to  pay any attention to them. Take a moment, go for a walk, throw a ball, play laser tag with your cat. You might find your stress level decreases, also. You got your pet for a reason, enjoy them!

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