Pet adoption rates skyrocketed in 2020, with nearly 1 in 2 Gen Zers adopting a pet during the pandemic. For pets, the past year at home has meant more walks, constant belly rubs and endless treats. As restrictions ease, businesses return to the office and kids go back to in-person learning, your pandemic pup might start showing signs of separation anxiety. Pet anxiety can manifest in many ways, including hair loss, weight loss, barking, destruction of property, or loss of appetite.
Dr. Katalin Grant, DVM, has over 20 years of experience as a board-certified veterinarian, and has extensively researched pet health and wellness. Now working as a nutrition expert at Tailored Pet, Grant created these simple yet effective tips to help guide pet parents in alleviating their pets’ anxiety.
Tips to ease your dog’s anxiety
As we ease back into “normal” life, try these home remedies to help your pup manage their anxiety.
- Identifying triggers
The first step to calming your pet is to identify the events that may trigger their anxiety, such as thunderstorms, loud noises or long periods of alone time. Once identified, you can better prepare for when you’re leaving the home.
- Create a safe space
Make a den to serve as your pet’s safety zone while you’re away. Use soft, plush bedding inside a small crate in a designated place within your home to create a safe space your pup will want to nuzzle into. All dogs, large and small, like to feel safe. This tip is also helpful during thunderstorms, fireworks and any other anxiety-inducing events.
- Play peaceful tunes
Try soothing your dog with classical or peaceful music. Classical music has been successfully used in many studies to calm pets. Keep the volume at a level that can drown out any outside noises, while not being overwhelming.
- Get moving
Take your dog for a run, walk or play fetch before any events or leaving the house. This will help tire them out, and thus reduce their anxiety throughout the day. Try incorporating these activities into your daily routine.
- Nutrition is key
A balanced diet does more for your dog than just manage their weight. Making sure your pup is getting the necessary nutrients can improve their digestive health, skin and coat, energy levels, allergies and sensitivities, and more. Determining and meeting the unique nutritional needs of your pet is made easier with personalized nutrition from Tailored Pet. By taking an online quiz about your dog’s needs, Tailored customizes a food blend optimized just for them.
If your pet’s anxiety becomes severe, Grant recommends visiting your veterinarian for a medical exam to ensure that medication can be handled safely by your pet. For even more information and tips from Dr. Grant, visit www.tailoredpet.com.