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Stress in Cats, Dogs and Horses

Do animals get stressed? 

Just like us, our animals also suffer from stress.  It can be looked at as any form of stimulus being either internal or external that can cause a behavioural change in your animal.  Stress can manifest in either abnormal psychological behaviour or physical symptoms (itchy skin, over grooming).

Some cats and dogs may be more susceptible to stress than others.  This could be because of their breed being a bit more highly strung, their constitution, the animal in general is easily stressed or something has or is still happening in their life that has caused them to become stressed.

So what kinds of things stress our animals?

This could be from something as simple as going to the vets or groomers.  Having someone new staying in the house, or a new pet has arrived home.

Boredom can be another cause of stress.  Boredom in a cat or dog can result in them self mutilating, nibbling, knawing or constant licking different areas of they body or in one particular spot, such as a hot spot.  This can lead to lick granulomas, which can be one spot that they fixate on and won’t stop attacking.

Over affection can also be a sign of stress, a cat that wants to be on your lap all the time or in your face, is very needy and constantly wants love and reassurance.    Cats that excessively groom is another sign of stress, they will lick their stomachs, legs or other parts of their body until they are bald.   

Separaton anxiety in a cat or dog is something many animals don’t cope very well with, when their owner goes out and they are left alone.  They can either pine or become very destructive to themselves or items in the house.  

Some animals are very hyperactive, excitable, can become hysterical, panic and become very restless.  These are all signs that your pet may be stressed.

What are the signs?

Stress can manifest itself in many different forms.  Some of the signs we have seen are excessively over grooming, OCD or obsessive compulsive disorder, whining, crying, barking, panting, hiding and skin irritation or flare ups.

What you can do to help?

One of the best things to do is try and work out what it is that has been causing your pet stress and see what you can do to either eliminate it or reduce its impact on your cat or dog.  Try not to over comfort your pet, as they can see this as you reinforcing their stressful behaviour.

You may find that you need help from an animal behaviourist or encourage trips to the groomers to be fun and reward with a treat.

Remedies in the Natural Pet range that can help to support the normal immune response to your dog that is suffering from stress, anxiety or emotional up are:

Drama queen for anxiety, stress and emotional upset

Save me - the famous five flower essences (Rescue remedy for pets)

Fear less - fear of thunder, fireworks, louds noises

Missing You - pinning and grief, depression

Stress in Cats, Dogs and Horses

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