What causes pet anxiety?
Our pets respond to any number of stimuli, and it can be hard to figure out which one produces their anxiety (and why). Some of the most common cases I see are:
1. Phobias (of storms, loud noises, etc.)
2. Physical upsets (for example, car sickness)
3. Household change (moving home, new member, companion pet loss)
4. Picking up on their owner’s feelings and thoughts
The last one is a tough one. Our pets react to our unspoken concerns, no matter how much we try to hide from them. As one dog put it: “You people think that we can’t feel when something is going on, but we know. I wish people would be more up front. I hate it when they don’t tell me what’s going on.”
So what can be done? It’s important to identify the source of the anxiety. As always, check with your vet first to rule out medical issues. Communicating with your pet can provide the quickest path to understanding. Animals I speak with are so relieved to have someone explain a situation to them properly and give them the chance to air their concerns. It also gives you the opportunity to identify which remedies and solutions your pet is most comfortable with.