At Center Veterinary Clinic, we know that pet owners want their beloved animals to live long, healthy lives. Unfortunately, animals can experience stress just as humans do. Unmanaged stress in pets can lead to serious physical and mental health issues, so it’s important for pet owners to recognize the signs of stress in their furry friends. Here are a few tips on how to identify stress in your pet.
CHANGES IN BEHAVIOR
One of the most common indicators of stress in an animal is a change in behavior. If your pet is usually active and playful but suddenly becomes reclusive and lethargic, this could be a sign of stress or anxiety. Additionally, changes in eating habits or sleeping patterns can also indicate that something is wrong. It’s important to observe your pet’s normal behavior so you can spot any sudden changes and take steps to address them.
It isn’t always easy to tell what an animal is feeling emotionally, but physical symptoms can provide some insight into their emotional state. Cats and dogs may both lick their fur excessively when they feel stressed or anxious; this type of behavior is known as psychogenic alopecia or “fur-biting syndrome”. Pets may also develop skin conditions like hot spots due to excessive licking or chewing caused by psychological distress. Other physical signs of stress include restlessness, trembling, panting, dilated pupils, and difficulty focusing on tasks at hand.
SEEKING PROFESSIONAL HELP
If you think your pet may be experiencing prolonged stress or anxiety, it’s best to get professional help from a veterinarian. A professional assessment will help you identify the root cause of your pet’s distress as well as potential solutions such as dietary changes or cognitive therapies designed specifically for animals with behavioral problems. In some cases, medications may be necessary.
Stress should not be taken lightly when it comes to our four-legged friends. It can have serious implications on their health if left unchecked for too long. If you suspect that your pet may be experiencing prolonged stress or anxiety, contact us today to schedule an appointment and learn more about the best course of treatment for your pet’s specific needs.