It’s completely normal for your dog or cat to exhibit fear in response to threatening situations, or situations that may only appear threatening to your pet. But while this instinctual fear response can quickly dissipate after the perceived threat goes away, behavioral problems associated with anxiety can appear without warning and may linger on hours after whatever event triggered the episode. Lethargy, diarrhea, excessive licking/biting, aggression, and pacing are just a few of the distress behaviors your dog or cat may exhibit that can result in injury and long-term health issues.
You can protect your pet (and ease your own stress) by understanding the causes of pet anxiety and learning how to care for your dog or cat during an anxiety episode.
Causes of Pet Anxiety
Your pet may exhibit anxiety for any number of reasons, and the exact cause of anxiety in dogs and cats is still unknown. However there are some common underlying links among overly anxious pets, including:
Dos and Don’ts During a Pet Anxiety Attack
Knowing how to respond when your pet is exhibiting distress behaviors will not only help ease the anxiety attack and prevent injury and discomfort, but it will also help you avoid doing anything that might reinforce or strengthen your pet’s anxious tendencies.
If your dog or cat exhibits mild to severe anxiety on a regular basis, medication may be necessary. Natural and herbal remedies can be helpful in some situations, but only your vet can determine whether or not prescription medication might be needed to address your pet’s anxiety issues. Discuss your pet’s behavioral issues with the vet staff at El Dorado Animal Hospital. We can recommend medication or other treatment options to remedy your pet’s anxieties, fears, and phobias.
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