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Our pets are known for their fun, social and hyper traits. But this isn’t always the case. Like us humans, our pets can get stressed, too, even if they are not working or going to school. You may notice that your pet is acting differently. One of the factors that contribute to their change in behavior is stress.
Stress in pets
It may seem that stress only makes your pet uncomfortable and moody, but there is more to it, and there are adverse effects if your pets are under constant high-level pressure. Aside from the negative mental effects of stress on pets, many physical products can affect their mental state. Their immune system can grow weaker; their blood pressure may increase, they have fertility issues, and they can even have heart and skin complications. This is mainly because stress increases the level of a stress hormone called cortisol.
Factors that contribute to the stress of your pets:
Pets, especially dogs, are naturally social. Being left alone constantly for a long time can cause stress to your pets. They want to spend their time with people, and they want company. Being alone for too long multiple times will make them feel lonely and may get anxious and scared.
Pets, especially dogs, have sensitive ears, so loud and unpleasant noises will definitely make them feel stressed. Dogs can hear sounds at higher decibels, so what is loud for us humans is much louder than for dogs. Noises outside the house can also contribute to their stress. Hearing unfamiliar noises may make them scared and anxious, triggering their fight or flight. That is why they get alerted when another animal or unfamiliar person is in your yard or in the vicinity of your house. To lessen the noise, you can put them in your home where there is less noise. You can also close the windows, spread the curtains, and close the doors to add a barrier from the source.
Being in a new environment means they are not used to it, so they still have to adjust. Changing houses, even if it’s near your previous home, can cause stress to your pets. If they are in a new place, they feel like they are not in their territory, so they would feel anxious and scared. A way to help them cope with moving is by giving them their blankets and surrounding them with the old things you have so that they would see and feel something familiar.
When traveling, many factors contribute to their stress, just like what was mentioned before, the new environment. But then, traveling itself may cause stress to your pets. Different factors that were mentioned can all be present at the same time. They can be in an unfamiliar place with new people in a loud environment, which makes them uncomfortable. Especially when going to a higher place, the altitude also changes. Just like humans, the change in altitude can make their ears uncomfortable and somewhat deafening. The sudden change in oxygen levels is also one of the factors. The higher you are, the thinner the oxygen is. To help make your pet feel comfortable while traveling, you can cuddle with them or wrap them in their blanket. Give them treats from time to time and ensure that they are hydrated.
If you notice that your pets are acting differently, especially when you can’t seem to calm them down, ask for help. You can search online for top veterinarians in Virginia Beach, Richmond, or wherever you reside. Ask for tips and book an appointment for them. Remember, though it seems like a small thing, stress can be fatal, for it can lead to a domino effect. Never underestimate stress!