According to a recent survey, over 70% of dogs suffer from anxiety. Pet anxiety can stem from several different factors like noise-sensitivity, thunderstorms or fireworks, or general fearfulness, fear of other dogs or strangers.
So what triggers your pet’s anxiety? Without realizing it, a number of common life events can be anxiety-inducing. But what’s important is identifying these triggers and devising a plan to ease your pet’s anxiety.
To help, we put together a list of three occasions your pet might feel anxious and how you can combat it.
When Traveling Long Distance
Traveling long distances can be especially stressful for your pet. Whether it is ground or air transport, it is necessary to create a strategy to help reduce your pet’s anxiety before leaving for your trip.
If you are traveling by air, check the airline’s requirements and regulations on traveling with a pet to avoid any mishaps the day of. If you are traveling by car, prepare everything your pet may need for the trip. Make sure they have somewhere comfortable to rest, toys, treats, and ample food. Also, be sure to map out your journey and plan for potty breaks and pitstops along the way.
If your pet does not handle travel well, or does not meet airline requirements, consider a pet transport service. These services offer superior care for your pet during the travel process. Some even have a pet transport nanny that will stay with your pet during the entire trip to ensure that they are safe, comfortable, and well.
When Introducing Something Unfamiliar
If you are taking your dog to a new dog park, groomer, or giving them a new toy, it is crucial to consider their stress levels when introducing an unfamiliar object or experience.
When taking them to a new dog park, first examine the park without your dog and ask yourself these questions, is there rough playing going on? What kind of dogs are there? Are the owners actively watching their pets? If the dog park seems like a good fit, slowly ease your way into going to the park regularly, and maybe that means only staying for a few minutes the first couple of visits. As time progresses, continue to monitor your dog’s stress levels and identify potential triggers that may come up.
This process of examining, slowly introducing, and continuous monitoring also works when adding new toys, foods, groomers, or caretakers.
Meeting Family and Friends
Introducing an unfamiliar object or experience to your pet can be stressful, but meeting new people can be even more anxiety-inducing.
If you are introducing your pet to friends or family members for the first time, it is best to do it slowly. When bringing home a new pet, try not to introduce them to all of your closest friends and family members at once. It will cause unnecessary anxiety for your pup. Instead, introduce them to a few people at a time, we would suggest three or less.
Also, be sure to speak with family and friends beforehand and explain how important it is to be gentle and careful when playing with your new puppy to help them get acclimated to being around new people.
Sometimes you can’t avoid anxiety-inducing situations, but it is important to identify your pet’s triggers and create a strategy to combat their anxiety.
Do you have any tips on how to ease pet anxiety? Let us know on Instagram @bluecollarpettransport