Evaluating your pet's stress levels - How To Tell if Your Pet Has Separation Anxiety. This is part of a series on pet anxiety. Please read part one for more information .... how to cope with anxious pets.
by N J Howell
Suggested Water Supplement:
Willard Water for Pets
Symptoms of pet anxiety:
* Growling at children who try to pet them or play with them. Growling is one of the few ways, besides fleeing, that a dog can communicate anxiety. It's important not to reprimand the dog for growling (which is his or her only form of communcation short of biting to indicate that they don't want to be touched right now) but to address the cause of the anxiety. Teaching children to approach slowly and to note the cues your particular pet puts out when they are nervous or stressed can help a lot. Dogs may use growling to communicate stress and anxiety when you are trying to get them in a designated area, if they know you are about to leave. Consistent non-reaction and behavior from you may help the dog train into a more peaceful departure routine.
* Excessive Whining
* Excessive Barking
* Obsessive Licking fur in one area (causes hot spots over time) or Chewing on skin
* Chewing up house items
* Nervous Pacing
* Soiling the home in your absense
* Trying to escape by chewing on window or door frames
* Chewing on things likely to have your odor on them, such as clothing or shoes
Separation anxiety in pets is more likely to occur if the cat or dog normally sleeps with you at night. The more they are used to being close to you, the more likely they are to feel anxious away from you.
Part Three: Tips for Handling Anxious Pets
Pet Care Disclaimer: I am not a veterinarian. If your animal friend seems overly anxious, consult with a pet health specialist. You may also want to hire a pet coach, to teach you how to best deal with a pet having separation anxiety issues. Be careful. Choose a coach you feel will be respectful and loving to your animal friend while firm enough to teach them new behaviors.