While summer is a time for relaxation for us, did you know it’s one of the most stressful times for our four-legged friends?
We’re busy traveling, the kids are home from school, and friends are over for BBQs. These changes in routine can easily stress our cats and dogs. Summer thunderstorms and 4th of July fireworks are also events that can terrify pets with their loud booms. (In fact, July 5 is one of the busiest days of year at animal shelters because dogs run away and/or become disoriented with fear.)
Signs of stress are not always obvious, but we can look for specific cues. For example, bad or unusual behavior – such as a dog being destructive in the home or barking excessively or a cat hiding from you or urinating outside the litter box – may be a sign of stress. And unfortunately, problem behavior is a top reason for the relinquishment of pets by their owners.
When planning summer’s festivities, we need to keep pets in mind! Knowing what options exist to alleviate their stress and address problem behavior can make the season more enjoyable for all.
Here are a few options that can aid stress management and restore emotional balance, including a first-of-its-kind nutritional option from health nutrition company Royal Canin.
· Diet – There’s now a complete and balanced diet that can nutritionally support a pet’s health and the behavior problems associated with stress and anxiety. This therapeutic diet from Royal Canin is vet-recommended and is available exclusively through vets
· Pheromone therapy – These products mimic natural pheromones to help calm and reassure cats and dogs and are available in various forms like sprays, plug-in diffusers and collars
· Environmental enrichment – Providing a safe, fun and soothing environment could include keeping pets engaged with toys and mental and physical playtime, creating a comfortable ‘space’ just for them, or playing music when loud noises may occur as a distraction
This summer, let’s keep our pets calm, happy and healthy – and out of shelters. Let me know if you’re interested in learning more about pet stress and problem behavior. I can get you in touch with popular certified animal behaviorist Steve Dale or a veterinarian to talk about the signs, causes, and top managements options.
To read about the new nutritional option (Royal Canin CALM) to help pets maintain emotional balance and view a quick video from Steve Dale on stress, see here: http://www.pwrnewmedia.com/2013/royal_canin/calm.
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