How to tell if your pet is anxious

With most Covid-19 restrictions now being lifted in the UK, this could mean a return to work for many pet owners.

Some pets may find this time stressful after being with their owners 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Pet Food Manufacturers Association reported 3.2 million pets were acquired during lockdown*, which could lead to millions of anxious pets.

If your pet is not used to being home alone, this could cause stress and anxiety due to a change in routine. Some pet owners may put this down to bad behaviour and not realise their dog or cat is stressed due to separation anxiety.

Korina Stephens, RVN from Nutravet comments: “As responsible pet owners, it’s important to understand when your pet is feeling stressed or anxious and look out for changes in their behaviour. A lot of people have been working from home and spending more time with their pets in the last 12 months, but as much of the UK starts opening up again, our four-legged friends might not be happy with the changes in routine. Anyone who is worried about their pet’s behaviour should consult their vet to be sure it’s not an underlying health issue.”

Natural pet health manufacturer, Nutravet share some common signs of stress and anxiety for pet owners to look out for:

Increased vocalisation

When left alone at home for long periods of time, anxious dogs may bark constantly, and cats may become more vocal. This could be due to loud noises being heard outside or unusual sounds in the home.

Isolation

Most pets like to be with their owners 24/7, so if your dog or cat is isolating themselves from you or other pets, it might be a sign that they are not happy. They could hide somewhere, such as under the bed.

Shaking

When anxious or scared some dogs may shake uncontrollably. This can be distressing for both pet and their owners to see.

Increased sleeping

If your dog is sleeping more than usual, it could be a sign that they are not themselves.  If you notice a change in your pet’s sleeping pattern, it might be best to consult with your vet.

Decrease in appetite

Most pets would eat more than they should if they could, so if your pet suddenly seem uninterested in food, or doesn’t eat at all, they may be feeling anxious or stressed.

Aggression

If your pet is unusually aggressive towards family members or other pets this could be a sign of stress. Aggressive signs could be accompanied by a fearful body posture and facial expression.

Digestion

Your pet might experience a sensitive tummy if they are feeling stressed. Pets may not be able to control themselves as normal, which could result in accidents around the home.

Cats

Your cat may urinate outside their litter tray. If this happens, it’s important to get them checked by the vet as extreme stress in cats could lead to urinary health issues.

Other common signs of dog anxiety include:

  • Panting (in dogs)
  • Nose/lip licking
  • Yawning
  • Tail lowered or tucked
  • Ears pulled or pinned back
  • Scratching and chewing on furniture

If you’re worried about changes in your pet’s behaviour, you should consult your vet, who is best placed to monitor your pet’s health and advise the best solution for your pet’s health needs.

Ask your vet about Nutracalm, which has a unique formula specifically developed to naturally help to reduce stress and anxiety for dogs and cats, quickly. Your vet may also be able to offer additional ways to help your pet alongside Nutracalm.

For more pet health tips visit www.nutravet.co.uk