Pets and Anxiety
Dogs are very much susceptible to some of the emotional struggles that humans can have. Anxiety is very much one of these struggles.
There are a few types of anxieties that a dog can suffer from. Separation anxiety is the most common form and can occur with examples such as when the dog owner leaves the house, leading to the dog feeling stressed. Other common anxieties consist of noise phobia, which triggers dogs to be stressed by loud noises, as well as social anxiety which causes a dog to feel uncomfortable in social situations.
Food for thought
- Excessive vocalisation
- Excessive panting
- Destructive behaviour such as chewing and tearing objects in their surroundings
- Urination/defecating in the home
There may be a number of reasons why some dogs feel this way but not all of these behaviours are a direct result of separation anxiety, so owners need to determine if these behaviours only occur when the pet is left alone.
Food = Fun
Mental stimulation is a very useful and effective method of helping to manage pets suffering from anxiety.
Interactive feeding is an excellent way to keep their mind at rest and their mouths occupied when pets find themselves on their own.
Puzzle feeders, truffle mats, kongs and treat balls are a great way to help keep pets stimulated. These toys should only be given when the owner is not present, this way the pet can learn to associate the experience of receiving this ‘special toy’ and being alone, much more positively.
Here at Scamps & Champs, our Grain Free, Superfood and Treat recipes can all be used in conjunction with puzzle feeders and treat balls. You have even a ‘Calming Treat’ in our Functional Treat range.
Remember to take into account any additional treats from the portion of your pets normal daily ration to prevent overfeeding.
Exercise and Training
There is strong evidence that clinical signs of anxiety can often be a result of failure to provide a pet with sufficient regular daily exercise. Exercising your pet before you are due to leave them alone provides them with the opportunity to go to the toilet and tire them out so they’re much more inclined to relax.
Last year RSPCA launched a campaign called #DogKind to help owners better understand their dog’s behaviour and teach them to feel happier when left alone.
Visit: www.rspca.org,uk/dogkind for more information.