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Cats and Dogs, Misc pets

Recognizing Signs of Stress in Your Pet

The Paw Print

Essential Pet Blog

Black and brown dog laying on a wood floor

It’s probably a holdover from our youth but for many of us, the thought of the summer season conjures up memories of sleeping in, family vacations, and long leisurely days. Even in our adult lives, warmer summer weather beckons us to relax and slow down. But have you ever considered what summer means to your pet? As the weather gets warmer, schedules tend to shift. This change in season can bring about major disruptions to your pet’s routine, which can result in stress and nervousness. Children are out of school, family vacations are being scheduled, and backyard barbecues draw crowds that can make introverted pets feel uncomfortable… and don’t even get us started on the Fourth of July.

Summer can be a difficult season for our pets, so it’s important to be able to recognize the signs of stress for them.

Recognizing Signs of Stress in Your Pet

Pacing and shaking

Much like the way humans react when they’re nervous or scared, our pets might tremble or pace. If you notice your pet shaking or walking a path repeatedly, it’s a good idea to assess their environment and think about what could be stressing them out.

Increased shedding

Although a little early summer shedding is nothing to be concerned about, excessive shedding can be a cause for concern. Many pets shed their winter coats as the weather warms up but if you notice an increase in pet fur in your home or if you begin to see bald spots on your pet, it could an indicator that he or she is feeling stressed out.

Behavioral changes

Think about it. When you’re feeling stressed, you’re just not yourself. The same goes for our pets; sometimes things happen that cause our pets to act outside of their personalities. If your typically outgoing dog becomes shy or skittish, or if your laid back cat suddenly is acting feisty, it could be that they are experiencing a stressful time. Additional changes to look out for include increased sleeping, isolation, or aggression.

Appetite and digestive changes

Diarrhea, constipation, and changes in eating habits can indicate an issue. If you notice a drastic change in your pet’s eating habits or if they’re experiencing digestive issues, stress could be the cause. It is worth mentioning that any time you notice anything out of the ordinary with your pet’s digestive patterns, it’s a good idea to contact your veterinarian to discuss your concerns. Stress may be the culprit, or it could be a more serious underlying issue. Talking with your vet will help you determine the best course of action for caring for your pet.

If you notice any of these signs of stress in your pet, there are actions you can take to make them more comfortable. Most importantly, you should remove the source of stress (if possible), and give your pet a safe and calm space to settle down in. If possible, stay with your pet and offer plenty of petting and soothing. An edible calming aid may help relieve their nervousness, or you may want to try a calming collar made with a blend of essential oils known for their calming properties.

On behalf of Essential Pet, we wish you and your pets a safe and relaxing summer season.

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