This article was written for Pet Guardian Angels of America by Sasha McGregor
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Reduce Stress for Your Pet
If you observe that your pet is experiencing stress, you may want to make some lifestyle adjustments to help them feel more calm. Here are some tips to help pets feel more at home and less stressed.
Teach Children How to Interact with Pets
Whether you have a dog or a cat, it is vital that you teach your children and your pets how best to interact with each other. This way, you will avoid potentially dangerous situations where either or both parties could get hurt. Inform your children that cats have claws and can bite, and show them where the cat does not like to be petted. For both dogs and cats, even if the pet seems tolerant, it is not all right under any circumstances to allow your child to sit on or ride your furry friend. When your children grow up knowing boundaries with pets, you can feel more comfortable that they will keep your pet calm and happy.
Try Natural Oils and Supplements
Before you use any sort of essential oils on your pets, be sure to check with your vet to ensure their safety. However, there are many types of oils and supplements that can be beneficial in relieving your pet’s stress. For example, cbd oil has all of the calming and pain management effects of marijuana, but without the psychoactive element, or THC. Therefore, your pet can reap the benefits without being high. Other essential oils that are safe and effective for pets include carrot seed, ginger, and chamomile, all of which have calming properties. You can diffuse these oils in a wall plug in, or you can mix it with water to create a mist that will fill the air with a good scent.
Create a Quiet Place
If you know your pet’s triggers, or they try to run away when confronted with a stressful situation, you can help them out by making them their very own space that is secluded and safe. Cats love places like corners of closets and under beds, that are solitary and away from people. Dogs sometimes like to be around their owners, or they look for a place that is familiar with their scent, such as a crate or a dog bed. Outfit the space with some of your pets favorite toys or blankets, so that they will know it is especially for them.
Have a Schedule for Animals
In order to reduce stress for you and your pets, you can create a schedule, so that you know when to feed them, let them outside, or take them for walks and scoop their litter box every day. For example, you can avoid your pet begging for food by having them on a feeding schedule once or twice a day. Taking your pet out for a walk every day at the same time will give them something to look forward to as well. For your cat, be sure to scoop the litter box at least every other day, or more often depending on how many cats you have. This will put your pet’s mind at ease.
Give Plenty of Affection
One of the best ways to help your pet overcome stress is to give them more love and attention. Even if you believe that your family is connecting and bonding with your pet, you can always do more, like snuggle with them and let them know they are loved, or allow them to sleep on the bed or couch with you sometimes. Invest time every day to play with your dog or cat, whether that means taking them to the park to play fetch, or using a toy on a string to stimulate your cat.
You can relieve your pet’s stress levels much more easily with these solutions. This way, your pet will have a happy life, and you and your family can enjoy the invaluable love and joy your pet brings.
Sasha McGregor is a part-time freelance writer and full-time educator.