GardenSMART :: 7 Things That Can Stress Out Your Pet
7 Things That Can Stress Out Your Pet
By Big Heart Pet Brands
Feeling a little frazzled? You may not be alone. Just like us, pets can easily get stressed out by the little things in life. Some are so small, you may not even be aware they're an issue. Constant stress certainly isn't good for your furry friend, and can even make her sick. But don't let that stress you out! Just eliminate these seven surprising, stress-inducing things from your pet's life, and you'll be able to chill out together.
1. Outside Animals and People
Our furry friends love sitting by windows to observe interesting wildlife, but neighborhood cats, dogs or people coming by the window could stress out your kitty or pup. Reduce stress by closing the blinds on busy windows. Instead, provide access to a quieter window where foot traffic — both four- and two-legged — is reduced, like a fenced-in yard.
2. Sharing Resources with Other Pets
Pets can stress each other out by eating each other's food, especially if one is hogging most of it. One pet may also intimidate the other, causing him to hide, reducing his territory within the home. Having a roommate who eats all of your food would stress you out, too!
Ease tensions by providing each pet with his own dish of food and his own feeding spot. While you're at it, make sure each kitty gets his own litter box, plus one extra. And give each pet his own, comfy bed.
3. Irregular Feeding or Parent Time
Feeding your pet at inconsistent times throughout the day can stress her out, as can spending erratic amounts of time with you. Keep a regular schedule for feeding and playtime, and stick with it. Try getting a little help from a pet sitter or a doggie daycare if your time is limited.
4. Frequent Home Redecorating
While changing up your home decor may be fun, it can actually be stressful for your pet — especially for cats. Changes in their surroundings, like rearranging furniture, can create anxiety for animals, so keep things consistent or make changes to the decor slowly, allowing your pet to smell new items like curtains or pillows along the way.
5. Trips to the Vet
You've likely already noticed this, but trips to the vet can be traumatic. They don't have to be. Keep a pet carrier out to get your furry buddy used to it. Confine him in it for short amounts of time and give him treats to encourage him to enjoy it. Take pets for car rides to the vet and give him treats when you arrive — even if you don't have an actual appointment. Just stop in and say "Hi!"
6. Frequent Dietary Changes
Unlike people, pets generally like consistency in their meals. Feed the same brand of food to avoid gastrointestinal distress from radical changes in ingredients. A consistent, healthy food — like 9Lives Daily Essentials® for cats — keeps a pet happy and relaxed.
7. Inconsistent Communication
Scolding your furry friend for sitting on the couch and then inviting him to sit on it with you to cuddle sends mixed messages and stresses him out. Keep house rules consistent to avoid miscommunication. Also, use the same commands with pets at all times — remember that Fido and Fluffy won't know that "come" is the same as "over here."
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By Delilah Onofrey, Suntory Flowers
Photographs courtesy of Suntory Flowers
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