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Can you recognize the signs of stress in your pets?

Published on November 24th 2021

The arrival of cold weather and the first snowfall is often synonymous with the change of season and a certain amount of hustle and bustle in our homes as the holiday season approaches. This can be just as stressful for your pets as it is for you!

Interactions with new people, loud noises, new smells or unfamiliar places can all be sources of anxiety for your pets.

To make sure everyone has a great holiday season, you can learn to recognize the signs of stress in your pets so you can help them manage these unbalanced situations and offer comfort.

Each pet is unique and will have its own set of signs of stress, but until you are familiar with your pet's tendencies and reactions, you can generally rely on the following symptoms.

Signs of stress in dogs:

  • Nervous yawning
  • Hyperactivity
  • Hypersalivation
  • Hair loss
  • Excessive or unusual barking
  • Heart rate higher than usual
  • Dilated pupils
  • Trembling
  • Shivering
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Change in hygiene habits
  • Withdrawal or withdrawal

Indications of stress in the cat:

  • Urine marking, incontinence or uncleanliness
  • Scratching on walls or furniture
  • Feeding disorders
  • Compulsive licking
  • Unusual frequent meowing
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Repeated infectious diseases

Pay attention to your pet's normal habits and behaviour, and be alert for any changes. Don't necessarily associate unwanted behaviour with a bad habit! It could simply be an indicator that your pet is uncomfortable and has no other way to let you know!

If you are seeing unwanted behaviours, it could be due to changes in routine, a change in environment (did you move his things to make room for a Christmas tree in the living room?) or a change in diet.

Here are some tips to help your pet:

  • Rearrange his schedule or space ;
  • Ask visitors to stay away from your nervous dog when they arrive at your home and give him a chance to take the first steps;
  • Prepare a quiet, comfortable room to place the cat in for the duration of the grandchildren's visit.

Often, with a little resourcefulness and patience, you can find a solution to modify or eliminate the source of your pet's stress before it becomes too noticeable. If the signs of stress do not subside, consult your veterinarian to rule out medical causes. Your veterinarian can also offer you advice tailored to your pet!

Happy Holidays!