29 Mar Does Your Pet Have Anxiety? These Drug-Free Solutions May Help
As with people, anxiety is common in animals. From separation anxiety to being triggered by events such as thunderstorms, car rides, the Fourth of July, or, if you’re really unlucky, all of the above, having a pet with anxiety can be so stressful. But, there are solutions! Anxiety shirts, safe spaces, and essential oils are just a few.
Thunder Shirt, the most popular brand of anxiety shirts, are simply snug-fitting shirts that apply slight pressure to areas of your pet’s body known to help calm them. It’s kind of like swaddling a baby. Vets and animal trainers highly recommended thunder shirts if your pet has mild anxiety. As the name implies, these shirts are perfect for cats and dogs that get mildly anxious during storms; but they’re also useful for occasions such as Fourth of July, when riding in the car, or, if you’re pet is naturally anxious, they can be used every day. And, since it’s just a shirt, you don’t have to worry about side effects like you would with medication.
Thunder Shirts are sold on Amazon, at most major pet supply stores, or you can get them from the official site by clicking here.
Create a Safe Space
Just like us, our pets like to have a space all their own. This can be especially helpful if you have a pet with anxiety. Whether their anxiety is storm related or not, creating a space for your pet to hide when they need to can help calm them.
Even the most social felines like their own space. For cats, a covered bed may be enough; just so long as they have somewhere quiet for them to hide and get some privacy.
Dogs can be a little more complicated. If you have a crate, awesome. To create more of a den situation, try draping blankets over it to block out light and noise. If Don’t have a crate? No worries! Making your pet a little nest to cozy up in behind a piece of furniture or even in the bathtub will make them feel safer when they’re frightened.
Whether your furry friend is a cat or a dog, be sure to keep a few of their favorite toys in there to ensure the space is comforting and familiar.
Oils: Essential, CBD, & Hemp
Essential oils can be a game changer if you have an animal suffering from anxiety. Lavender, which is safe for both cats and dogs, has calming effects. The good news is, it will work for you, too. Before incorporating essential oils into your routine, please do some research. While most of them are great, some can be toxic to cats and dogs. So, again, please do a little research prior to using them in your home.
Cannibidiol (CBD) oil has been proven to reduce inflammation and anxiety in both humans and animals. It’s an oil derived from hemp and can be used as a cooking oil or simply put a little in your pet’s food. The oil does take some time to get into the system so it’s best if used daily. You can find CBD oil at specialty and health food stores. CBD oil is not available in all areas so a good alternative is hemp oil.
Hemp oil shares many properties with CBD and is available in health food stores or online. As with the CBD oil, it works well for anxiety but needs to build up in the system. Because of this, it works best on animals that have day to day anxiety rather than occasional storm-related issues.
Part of being a pet owner is ensuring your pet feels safe. Whether they suffer from every day anxiety or only react to certain events, it’s important to comfort them. If Thunder Shirts and safe spaces aren’t enough, you may want to consider speaking to your vet about the pros and cons of oils or, if needed, medication to help ease your pet’s mind.