Pet Anxiety Awareness - 7 Signs of Anxiety in Cats & Dogs
The first week of every May, we observe Pet Anxiety Awareness Week. This is a week to raise awareness of anxiety in our pets and was spearheaded by Kristen Levine Pet Living as a way to bring awareness to the “fear, anxiety and stress” (FAS) our pets feel.
Our dogs and cats can experience FAS for many reasons including:
- Separation anxiety
- Changes in the family dynamic -- a new pet being brought home, for example
- A move
- Loud noises
There are many signs that indicate your pet may be suffering pet anxiety.
- Chewing items. If your dog never chewed shoes or destroyed your furniture, and has recently started doing so, this change in behavior can mean he is stressed or anxious.
- Inappropriate barking. This means, that your dog is barking uncontrollably or for many hours of the day when she is left home. If this happens, your neighbors will probably let you know.
- Velcro dog. This happens when your dog is frantic when you leave him home alone and when you return he refuses to leave your side even for a moment.
- Not eating. If your dog suddenly stops eating it could indicate stress or he could have another underlying health issue.
- Licking or chewing himself. If you notice your dog continually licking his paw or other body part, it could also be a sign of stress, especially if he hasn’t done that previously.
- Litter box avoidance. This is a very real and very frustrating way in which a cat will show you that she’s just not happy with something that is happening in the house right now. If you haven’t changed the type of litter you use or made other changes to the litter box area, it could be a sign of stress.
- Scratching doors or furniture. If your dog has started scratching at the door or window sills or if your cat has begun clawing the furniture or window sills, it can be another sign of stress.
If you notice any unusual behavior in your dog or cat, you will want to check with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issue. Talk with your vet about any changes in your routine or your cat or dog’s routine or lifestyle that may be prompting the unusual behavior.
Determining the underlying cause of the stress and anxiety your dog is under will help alleviate his stress. Your dogs and cats rely on you for their companionship and that you will do what you can to keep them safe.
In many cases when a pet exhibits a change in behavior, pet parents can pinpoint when it started and then can determine what caused it. Until you figure it out, though use our home scratch protection products to protect your home.
CLAWGUARD builds shields that protect homes from damage caused by dogs and cats. Products include door shields, couch guards, and universal protective tapes that protect commonly scratched areas like window sills, furniture, banisters, weatherstripping and more. Our products relieve pet owner anxiety! Look for us in the pet hardware section of your local retail store.