How To Reduce Stress Levels In Your Pets
Pets are our best friends, and the best thing we can do for them is to make them feel as loved as possible the moment they enter the door. When we create a bond with them they sense every emotion we have, from happiness to sadness. So we need to be careful to keep our stress levels at a minimum when we have our pets around, so they too don’t tend to feel those emotions as well.
A pet can get stressed from a number of things: from sensing their owner’s own stress level, to not taking a walk outside for days at a time (especially during this period of COVID-19 lockdown). Whatever the case, we should try our best to keep their stress levels down and reduced as much as possible.
Know when your pet is stressed
Just like humans, pets behave differently when they are stressed, so you need to keep a lookout for behaviour outside their normal pattern. For example, stressed dogs can be overly jumpy, look depressed, have a lack of an appetite, or decreased energy, and although these are signs that can be of different results, you must pay close attention to them.
Cats on the other hand are a bit different when it comes to telling what’s bothering them. When they are stressed they tend to go outside of the norm and do things that they don’t usually do like: ignore their litter box, over groom themselves, or become standoffish.
Set them on a daily schedule
The best thing you can do for them (both cats and dogs) is to place them on a set daily schedule - make them follow the same routine daily in order to decrease their stress levels. This helps because pets in general love to be on a schedule. Take time out to groom them and play with them, and make them feel loved. You have to remember that they have feelings too, so it's easy for them to get jealous or feel left out, especially with everybody being home during this crisis.
Keep a positive reinforcement
Remember to keep a positive reinforcement and not negative. Even though they may tend to lash out a bit, we must remember to remain calm and enforce positive reinforcement when they do something abnormal (go outside their litter box, tear up the sofa).
Exercise and play time is a must
They need exercise and play time just like anybody else. Keep them going as you take this time to stay in the house. If you are able to take your dog for a walk, then let them run around for a little bit in the house itself. Remember to enforce social distancing, and a face mask is recommended, but let them stretch their paws outside of your home whenever possible. Being cooped up in the house all day will increase their stress levels and make them act out.
Have fun with your pets
Even if you open the window and let in some fresh air, get some music going, and dance around with your pet, this may decrease the multiple emotions they may be feeling.
Bring their toys and favourite treats out
Every pet has their favourite toys and treats, and this is the time you use them to reduce their stress. Maybe you will have to order a few extra things online, but it’s totally worth the investment to keep them at ease.
Dogya is not a fad
This may sound a bit crazy but soft calming music and yoga helps too; pet yoga that is. Classical music will begin to stimulate the pet and calm them whether you are home or away; it works! They begin to enter a state of mind that is soothing, not making them act on impulse.
Pet yoga works as well (Dogya). It also stimulates your pet and helps them to practice tranquility, and patience in each pose that you may choose to do with your pet, allowing them to open up their consciousness, and be at peace with themselves. This has begun to be the new trend lately with dogs since they tend to sense our emotions.
If we are in a calming state they will be as well. The more we bond with them the better they will react and feel. Wrap them up and lay them across us while we watch TV, feed them when we eat so they feel included during meal times, get them dressed like we do ourselves, brush their teeth, etc. All of these things will help make them feel as loved as we want them to feel.