Pets lead a life of luxury. They can sleep all day, don’t have to work, and can get room service no matter where they are. But sometimes these pampered pets can get sick of it all and just want to work a little. Lack of exercise, loneliness, jealousy, and being contained can contribute to a cat or dog feeling a little anxious and stressed out. Ever notice your dog acting a little down in the dumps during vacation? Your pet’s life isn’t all play and no work, and with changes in his environment as well as insufficient releases of energy, his day can be just as stressful as yours.
Carole Wilbourn, a cat therapist, said that depending on how sensitive and emotionally thin-skinned an animal is it can respond to stress in different ways. “Cats, dogs, and other companion animals are affected by people’s body language and voice,” Wilbourn said.
Symptoms of a pet being stressed out are very similar to that of humans. It’s crazy talk when a human has a conversation with herself, but when a dog barks at absolutely nothing, it’s ignored. However, this is one sign of a stressed out pup. Whether yelping at animals out of hostility, or just woofing at nothing, this could be cause for concern. Talking back to your pet can stimulate their minds and calm them down a bit.
Nail biting is a very common and addicting habit that is done by many people as well as animals. But pets get the raw end of the deal as they sometimes struggle biting up their legs.
Staring into nothing, asleep with eyes wide open, is one way to detach from the world without going some place better. Like us, when pets don’t have any excitement in their lives, they tend to stare at their shadows imagining a life filled with more Frisbee fetch games and walks in the park.
After an entire day of relaxing, you still find it difficult to get motivated to do something – anything. It’s never an opportune time to tackle a heavy workload if you’re not feeling up to par and are overwhelmed. Stress levels break down the immune system in people and their pets. Excessive drooling and vomiting can be a sign that your pet has way too much, or way too little on his plate.
Okay, so this isn’t a normal symptom of human stress, but a cat who misses the litter box, or simply forgets that’s what it’s there for, can be feeling a little purr-plexed.
Luckily, if you feel that your tail is between your legs there are antidotes created to help balance your pet’s mood. Anti-depressants are on the market for those less than playful and sulking four-legged creatures we call friends. A Japanese company, Medical Life Care Giken, has also created a patch to measure the amount of stress our pets are experiencing. It is applied to the animals paw pad and detects the amount of sweat released, which is directly related to how they feel.
If supplements and patches aren’t the perfect solution for your pooch, Wilbourn suggests, “Make sure their diet is healthy and they get regular check ups; make sure the litter box is in good shape. Soft music can help as well as aromatherapy because lavender is soothing and healing. Also, spend more time playing with them throughout the day.”