Pet Anxiety Month March 2020

At Browns Natural Pet Store, we believe looking after your pet’s mental health is just as important as caring for their physical wellbeing. We have a massive range of products that can help alleviate anxiety issues, although if your dog or cat is experiencing a severe reaction, we would always recommend seeking the help of a professional behaviourist.

Here are a few ways that anxiety may display itself in your pets
Being overly clingy
Unwanted behaviours- excessive barking, destructiveness or whining
Soiling indoors
Change in usual behaviours, e.g. going off their food
Scratching and nibbling
Soiling indoors
Excessive scratching
Not wanting to be touched
Over grooming
Loss of appetite

One of the first things we advise doing is trying to find the source of your pet’s anxiety. Have you recently moved to a new house? Is there a new addition to the home like a baby or another pet? Are you having building work done? It can even be caused by something so minor to us, especially in cats, such as a new piece of furniture or a family member being away for a time. Cat are very sensitive, and their behaviours tend to be a lot more subtle to notice than dogs- just because they seem “relaxed” in general doesn’t mean they aren’t also showing signs of anxiety. There may be other reasons for displaying these behaviours so for your own peace of mind get your pet checked over by your vet if you’re concerned.

If you want to try calming remedies, Pet Remedy is one of our favourites at Browns. Simply plug them in and let the calming herbs diffuse naturally or use the spray for a more direct area, such as on your pets bedding or a bandana around their neck. You could also try oral treatments like Dorwest Valerian Compound in your dog or cat’s food- the herbs in this remedy are nervines, which means they naturally relax the nervous system to reduce anxiety but avoid sedative effects.

Keeping your pets busy is a great way to help them self soothe. Long stimulating walks in the woods can mentally and physically satisfy your dogs and settle them down to be more restful. You could give them an activity toy like a Kong or Lickimat to keep their brain distracted, or a tough chew such as an antler or pizzle stick to release endorphins.

Cats are, as we all know, a little harder to please! Toys with “happy herbs” like catnip, valerian, or silvervine are very popular (try the Yeowww! Range for extra fussy felines.) The home environment is massively important, especially for indoor cats. Try to provide plenty of scratch posts, preferably with a high platform, and secure hiding spaces like under the bed or in cupboards. If they are hiding respect their space and don’t try to encourage or force them out. Chaos and loud or sudden noises in the home can be a cat’s worst nightmare so make sure there are places where they can sleep, eat, and use the litter tray in peace.

If you’re unsure which product would best suit your anxious cat or dog, feel free to come and speak to one of the Browns consultants who can advise you. Do you have an anxious pet? Tell us your story on Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #PawsForThought