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How can I help my pet with anxiety?
When your pet cries, whines or hides, it is natural to want to comfort it as you would a child. However, anxiety in cats and dogs is not quite the same as it is in humans, and you need to treat it differently.
Firstly, you need to determine that the animal is actually anxious, and that the symptoms of whimpering, meowing or howling are not being caused by some underlying condition. Sometimes arthritis or hot spots can cause your pet to speak up. If your pet has these conditions, you should talk to your vet about giving it a joint supplement like Dasuquin or a flea and tick treatment like Comfortis or Frontline Plus.
Other symptoms of anxiety include chewing or biting furniture or other household items, and eliminating around the house. Many dogs have anxiety of loud noises like thunder and fireworks, and others suffer severe separation anxiety when you leave for the day. Before talking to your vet about this issue, try to determine when the pet exhibits the symptoms. Does it happen when you are gone from the house? Does the animal cry when you go out the door? Or does it try to hide when it hears loud noises? Knowing the cause of the anxiety is important for treating it.
You can get some pet products over the counter to ease moderate pet anxiety. Try an all-natural, holistic remedy like Be Serene, a formula made up of flower essence that helps soothe an animal's nerves. You could also try to plug in a diffuser like Comfort Zone for Cats or Dogs. These products release a soothing pheromone into the air that helps pets feel comfortable and at ease. You might come home to find the pooch fast asleep on its bed with no signs of damaging behavior anywhere in the house. You can also use these products during thunderstorms or other noisy events.
If the anxiety still does not improve, you should speak to your vet or an animal behaviorist about how to help your pet through these events. Most of the time, the separation anxiety needs to be treated with a counter conditioning training regimen to desensitize the dog to being alone. In severe cases, your vet may recommend pet drugs like Clomipramine. You can hide these pills in Greenies Pill Pockets to help your furry friend swallow the whole thing.