Just as it can be normal for humans to suffer from stress, it’s also normal for pets to get stressed. But more often than not, we don’t always stop and think about how this may affect cats and dogs; or what causes it in the first in the first place.
In fact, some don’t even know that their pet could be stressed. Too much stress may negatively impact on a pet’s health hence the need to stay informed on the causes and signs of anxiety in cats and dogs.
What causes stress in pets?
Depending on whether it is environmental, physical or emotional stress, the causes for anxiety could vary. Emotional stress is triggered by factors such as yelling, new family members, being left alone for long, overexcitement, jealousy or rivalries, anticipation, inconsistent training, lack of exercise, strange smells, fear of storms and lack of mental stimulation. Inhibiting movement outdoors also causes stress in cats.
Physical stress can be triggered by parasites, a medical condition, surgery-related trauma, poor diet and extreme weather. Environmental stress is triggered by a change in the daily routine, visits to the vet, new pets in the household, loss of a family member whether human or another pet and generally other factors that touch on their environment.
For example, stress in cats is easily triggered by normal daily activities including loud music, dirty litter boxes, change in diet, barking dogs, new pets, new furniture, and maintenance work around the house
What are the signs of anxiety in pets?
The typical signs of stress in dogs include:
- Excess barking both indoors and indoors
- Increased animosity even towards family members
- Constant accidents
- Tucked tail
- Excess licks
- Leash biting
- Physical signs of medical conditions. These include diarrhea, gagging, loss of hair, loss of appetite and skin allergies, just to name a few
- Increased destructive behavior such as chewing shoes, furniture and other stuff in the house
The signs of stress in cats are a little bit different and may include loss of appetite, hiding out for long, and tail chasing. Some signs of stress in dogs are also depicted in cats. While reading dog behavior to ascertain whether or not it’s stressed, the same cannot be said for cats. This is mainly due to their withdrawn nature.
As you’ve probably realized by now, stress in pets can be translated in their behavioral and personality changes. It’s therefore important to be able to read your pet’s behavior. Telling whether or not your pet is anxious may prove hard if there’s zero change in the daily routine. Nevertheless, you can always talk to a veterinarian in Courtland Manor, NY, and see how he or she can help.
Stress affects pets the same it affects humans. And while we may always realize that our pets are stressed, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t. In most cases, stress doesn’t have a negative impact on their health, but as the saying goes, too much of everything can be harmful. You can’t stop anxiety in pets, but your role in recognizing the signs can very well prevent a further deterioration of health.