Happy Holidays! The holidays should be a time of joy and celebration, family, friends, and fun. But too often it becomes a time of stress. Sometimes self-induced with striving for a picture-perfect holiday, and sometimes over-scheduled with too many places to be and too many things to do. We all know how stress can affect us, and how we can affect others with our stress. But, what about our pets? Can our stress, stress our pets?
Yes, our stress can stress our pets. Dogs have many ways of detecting human feelings. They can read our body language, tones and frequencies in our voices and other subtle signals that are hard for us to detect. Dogs can also detect subtle chemical changes in our bodies with their phenomenal sense of smell. We all know “stress sweat” is different from normal sweat, and dogs can recognize the difference.
Changes in routine during the holiday season can stress your pet. 5 most common causes of stress in dogs include:
- Changes in routine. Dogs thrive on a routine and when it gets disrupted the get nervous.
- Lack of mental stimulation can cause stress in your dog. Toys, tasks or challenging exercises all help your dog to reduce stress.
- Too much noise. Being bombarded by sound can cause stress to your pet. Urban dwelling often bombards our pets with too much sound.
- Other people. Just like people, each dog is unique in how much socialization they can handle. Guests, children, crowded situations or strange hands can all impact nerves significantly.
- Your mood and agitation may make them eager to please but unable to do so.
Unlike you, your dog can’t call a time-out or take a spa day when stressed. Their body language will let you know when they are experiencing stress. So it’s up to you to watch your pet’s body language and determine when they are stressed. Some indicators of stress in your dog include:
- Shaking or shivering unnecessarily.
- Abnormal shedding
- Tense muscles
- Excessive drooling
- Licking lips and nose
Your stress will also affect your cat. However, cats tend to hide and mask their anxiety or stress. Be on the lookout for these signs of stress in your cat, particularly if they occur suddenly.
- When your cat urinates outside the litter box they are trying to tell you something. Consult with your vet to rule out a medical condition.
- Excessive grooming. If your cat is licking themselves bald or raw, that’s a clear sign of distress.
- While aloofness is second nature to cats, your cat should not be actively and constantly hiding from you and everyone else.
- A decrease in appetite is a sign of distress in your cat.
- Changes in behavior such as excessive sleeping or aggressive behavior toward other household pets can be a sign of a stressed cat.
One of the best ways we can help our pets is by managing our own stress. However, just like with people it is not always possible to create a stress-free environment for your pet.
PetAlive® recognizes the special bond that exists between people and their pets. They understand we can’t eliminate stress from our lives or the lives of our pets, but recognize we can help our pets cope with stress.
PetAlive® PetCalm™ is an all-natural homeopathic remedy that helps calm pets that are anxious, stressed or have nervous dispositions. PetCalm™ is a powerful homeopathic formulation for promoting calm nerves in high-strung pets. Using a unique, proprietary blend of highly diluted and scientifically selected natural substances, PetCalm™ offers an effective and safe choice for supporting nervous system health and emotional balance in dogs and cats.
PetCalm™ is available in two convenient forms, dissolvable granules or spray, to suit your pet’s preference. Both forms are easy to administer: Granules can be sprinkled in food, a treat, or on your pet’s tongue and absorbed; the spray can be administered directly into your pet’s mouth or sprayed on food or water.
While you may not be able to eliminate the stress of the season, you can help your pet manage their stress and ensure all members of your family have a happy holiday!
To a happy, healthy holiday season!
BY MARY ELLEN KOSANKE