Stress is a commonly used word that describes feelings of strain or pressure. The causes of stress are exceedingly varied and are due to worry. Perhaps you are stressed out by your job, you become nervous when meeting new people, or you get anxious when your daily routine is disrupted. Although we don’t always think about it our pets can become stressed too.
Our pets can often mirror the way we act. They may not be human but as domesticated animals, they are sensitive to the environment they live in and the sounds and people around them. Of course, our pets cannot slam down a phone or burst into tears of doubt as we can, but they do show their own clues and signs of distress when stressed. Here are just a few.
Barking or meowing incessantly: Both cats and dogs can have moments of excessive barking or meowing. A sound outside, someone new coming into the house, feeling hungry, or feeling pain, are all stressors that can cause this reaction.
Shaking: It is normal for a cat or dog to shake if they are cold or are wet, however, a sign that your pet is stressed is when they shake due to a loud sound, being left alone for too long, or when they have to go the vet. In these instances, their stress levels are elevated. As pet owners, you cannot control the outside world, but you can be aware of what triggers your pet to feel insecure, stressed, and worried.
Changes in body posture. When a dog or cat shifts its body weight from all fours to its rear legs or cowers in a corner hiding the tail between the legs, this is a pretty sure sign that your pet is exhibiting stress. This body language can also show that they are fearful of something or someone.
Hiding and avoidance: This is certainly a more severe sign of stress and can happen to pet owners regularly when a new person or animal comes into the house. A cat or dog can also exhibit this behaviour when injured signalling that something serious has happened.
There are many stressful situations that can make our pets react negatively but basic training and knowing your pet’s triggers can help. If you are a dog owner giving proper training to your puppy can help alleviate some of these behaviours, but it is only natural that they will exhibit stress from time to time. For cat owners, cats are very possessive about their space and owners, so it is important to keep this in mind. Depending on the personality of your cat they may or may not like new people, loud sounds, or other animals. If they are meowing uncontrollably and this is not normal for them then this can often be a sign of hunger or injury so give them the attention they need.
At Need2Know Books we have a great selection of essential guides that provide useful tips and advice to pet owners. Visit www.need2knowbooks.co.uk and explore our range of pet books.