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Stress

Stress / Anxiety

Herbal remedies for canine and feline stress relief to reduce anxiety in stressed cats and dogs.

Animals routinely experience irregularities in bodily systems, including the Central and Autonomic Nervous systems, requiring a correction to restore emotional balance, to promote relaxation and reduce nervousness and to balance mood and provide feelings of comfort and security.

Many dogs and cats experience emotional distress for a variety of reasons, including environmental and situational stressors such as traveling, boarding, daycare, vet and grooming visits, introduction into a new home, loss of a family member or family pet, separation from owners, visiting guests, transitional or traumatic events, competitive events, abuse, an inappropriate diet (one which contains processed foods including corn, wheat, soy or other fillers) and general anxiety that is commonly experienced that includes irregular behaviors manifest as urine marking, excessive scratching, panting, trembling or shivering.

While most dogs or cats may chew a toy or sleep quietly when left alone for a period of time, others may struggle when their owner leaves the house, with rather disastrous consequences. Cats too, while less common or severe, may also struggle with anxiety-related behavioral problems. These behavioral issues may also occur as a result of a fellow pet’s absence or death.

The answer to that question is undoubtedly, yes. Just as we as owners get stressed and panicked, so do our pets. An animal’s nervous system is just as susceptible to stressors in the environment and surroundings as our nervous system is, if not more so.

While every animal copes daily with average amounts of stress (keeping them alert) sometimes, stress can affect both an animal’s psychological and physical wellbeing. Remember, that an animal cannot vocalize their stress, or use coping mechanisms – as they do not grasp the concept of time, and that the stress will eventually pass.

Anxiety in pets is a very common problem, representing one of the top reasons for veterinary visits. Animals can experience anxiety when left alone for long periods of time, lack social contact, are confined to small spaces, experience boredom or are ill. Our animals can also detect our moods and feelings and mimic our behaviors. Just like humans, with prolonged exposure to stress, your pet can develop an anxiety disorder.

Stress can have serious physical consequences on an animal. Stress takes its toll on the immune system and studies have shown that people under more stress are more likely to get sick. The same may be true for our animals.

When an animal gets stressed, messages are sent to various organs in the body to produce certain results – the heart quickens, they start to pant and lick their lips, they quiver and shake, their eyes get ‘glazed’ and they seem to be in a fearful trance-like state. It is especially dangerous for a pet, as animals have been known to resort to desperate measures (jumping out of windows during a thunderstorm) to get away from the perceived danger – as they would do in nature during the ‘fight or flight response.’

Health problems related to stress may include cardiovascular problems such as high blood pressure and coronary heart disease aggravated by stress. Stress may also play a role in speeding up the progress of certain cancers and disorders in the animal body.

As is the case in humans - other health problems associated with stress include diabetes, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, memory loss, autoimmune diseases, thyroid problems, infertility, skin and coat problems, muscle tension and fatigue.

As your pet cannot vocalize their stress and anxiety, it is a good idea to monitor your pet’s behavior in certain situations. Stressed animals will usually change behavior suddenly – panting, pacing, or licking at themselves as a coping mechanism.

Animals that are constantly ‘high-strung’ may pull out their fur or feathers, or engage in ritualistic behavior in an attempt to calm their nerves. If your pet stops eating, or has a drastic change in bowel movements (diarrhea) it may be a sign that their stress needs to be managed.

For a household pet stress may be caused by multiple factors. A pet may get stressed by a new person in the home, an addition to the family (a new baby), fireworks, thunder storms, moving house, a stay in a kennel, unfamiliar surroundings, a visit to the vet or worst of all - getting out of the property and becoming lost. Certain breeds are also susceptible to hereditary stress disorders.

Some pet owners are surprised to learn that pets are sensitive to changes in their environments and the same factors that stress humans affect animals, including:

Separation anxiety (from owner or another pet)

Addition to family (baby, spouse, another animal, visiting guests)

A new home, relocation, boarding, kenneling

Illness

Poor nutrition (diet which contains processed foods including corn, wheat, soy, meat by product, other fillers, preservatives and additives)

Change of owner

Grooming or vet visits

Emotional stress: abuse, fear, traumatic event, genetic nervous temperament, death of a family member or pet companion, jealousy or rivalry, stress and poor health

Change in daily routine

Crowds, small groups of people and small children

Breeding

Noises, pressure or phobias: thunder, lightning, fireworks, sirens, loud parties, dryers, vacuum cleaner

The most common anxiety disorders include separation anxiety, noise phobias and social anxiety include:Separation anxiety is one of the most common anxiety disorders and typically occurs when pets are left alone and separated from their owners. Destructive behavior such as continuous barking and whining, chewed furniture, scratching of doors or soiled floors may be exhibited when the pet is left alone.

Noise phobia occurs when pets are fearful of loud noises such as thunderstorms, firecrackers, gunshots, sound of birds, a vacuum cleaner or a hairdryer. Often, when animals are frightened by loud noises they may run and hide to a safer haven. In trying to escape, they may endanger themselves by jumping through windows, digging or running away. Other signs of fear that may be displayed include excessive barking, meowing, drooling, trembling, chewing, urinating or defecating.

Social anxiety most often occurs when pets have not been socialized at an early age. Pets that have not been socialized are fearful and overwhelmed by crowds, small groups of people as well as other animals. When the pet becomes anxious, he may feel trapped and cornered which in turn causes him to react aggressively or run to a safe retreat.

Excessive barking

Nervousness

Whining and moaning

Trembling or shivering

Drooling and panting

Pacing

Poor appetite

Licking or chewing of skin

Hyperactivity or excitability

Pacing or chewing furniture

Soiling the house or tearing up household items in your absence

Mutilating plants

Scratching at windows and doors

Following owner from room to room and sulking or hiding when an owner is getting ready to leave the house

An abnormally enthusiastic greeting upon the owners return

Meowing or barking after the owner has left

Urination or defecation near a door or on the owner's personal items

Vomiting only when the owner is not there

Excessive grooming, to the point of creating a bald spot on one or two areas of the body

Herbal Remedies:

Herbal remedies promote a calm and relaxed state, to soothe stress, fear and nervous anxiety during stressful situations & everyday disturbances, to address the sudden and immediate symptoms of stress, such as quivering and panting, to relieve the anxiety and tension related to stress, to help cope with anxiety and nervousness by working on a variety of bodily systems to provide whole systemic support, relaxing the Central and Autonomic Nervous Systems, allowing your animal to distinguish between a safe vs. fearful situation.

Soothed & Serene – (learn more) is used to relax and calm all bodily systems, to soothe animals exhibiting all types of  destructive behavior due toanxiety, fear, grief, separation, pain, illness, allergies, aggression, socialization issues, electrical and thunder storms due to its calming, mildly sedative and nervine effects that can bridge nutritional deficiencies and relieve irregularity in bodily systems, restore emotional balance, promote comfort, relaxation, balanced mood and feelings of security.

Serenity Zen Dog & Cat - (learn more) is used for its multi-level support to soothe, relax, calm and provide pain relief to nerves, muscles and all bodily systems (Adrenal, Cardiovascular, Digestive, Excretory, Respiratory, Autonomic and Central Nervous Systems), for anxiety disorders, allergies, digestive colic, storms, travel, boarding, vet visits, separation, restlessness, irritability, depression, ADHD and ADD, to maintain normal electrical balance in the brain, reduce neuro inflammation and modulate inflammatory response.

Yelp for Kelp - (learn more) provides critical trace nutrient support for the endocrine system, to energize the body, for building and toning enzymes, tissues, hormones and bones, for enhancing natural cleansing and detoxification, for anemia, as an osteoporosis preventative, to promote immunity and for metabolic disorders, including the thyroid gland and other glands and tissues that affect the thyroid, for thyroid disorders, to cleanse the lymphatic system, to maintain healthy levels of TSH, T3 and T4, and for metabolic disorders.

Help! Dogs in particular can become very anxious and distressed during a lightning storm or when fireworks are let off nearby. If your pet becomes distressed, try not to fuss too much, as this may be interpreted as attention – perhaps triggering further anxiety in the future. Rather stay calm and provide your pet with the necessary tools to cope. This may include a ‘den’ for them (empty cupboard with a blanket and favorite toys) as dogs will try to find a place where there is one opening – where the perceived ‘danger’ can be watched. Cats will usually seek out shelter under a bed or behind a cupboard. Best to leave them be, and not bother them.

Exercise! Keep your animal physically active - this is a great technique for stress relief. Regular exercise helps burn up stress-related hormones such as adrenaline while releasing happiness-inducing endorphins! For your animal, sniffing the ground while outdoors is like reading a magazine – a great way to relax!

Eat healthily. It seems too simple, but a balanced diet will energize your pet’s body and help him or her to cope better with stressful situations. Important nutrients for stress relief include Vitamin B, calcium and magnesium – all of which are available in vegetables. Your pet should be fed on a diet of 20% protein, with the rest made up of healthy carbohydrates (like rice) and vegetables.

Related Products:

Gland Candy - (learn more) contains healthy fatty Omega 3 acids used to support healthy body weight, used in the treatment of skin conditions and to promote healthy skin and coat, to support and tone the lymphatic system, to balance glandular activities including the thyroid, adrenal and pituitary glands, to support and maintain healthy thyroid function and to soothe the thyroid and endocrine system, for allergies, alopecia, allergic dermatitis, moist dermatitis (hot spots), to stimulate tissue repair and for all types of arthritis

I Feel Good –  (learn more) promotes healthy immune response, reduces inflammation, provides dermal support and growth of healthy cells and tissues in the body’s defense mechanism, reduces the histamine trigger for contact allergies, seasonal and chronic allergens, pathogens, skin rashes, infections, hot spots, inflammation, swelling, hair loss, itching and geriatria (dull coat, lethargy), for all types of arthritis, including Degenerative Joint Disease, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and symptoms associated with rheumatism, including pain, strains, injuries, muscle pain, swelling and lack of mobility.

I AM A ROCK STAR! - (learn more) supports adrenal gland health and response to stress and metabolic demand, supports glandular ability to rebuild and regenerate, promotes hormonal balance, regulates stress on liver, kidney and digestive functions by reducing thirst and excessive elimination, promotes cognitive function and memory performance, balances blood sugar levels, for natural energy in young and geriatric pets, increases muscle use, ability and stamina, provides anti-inflammatory and immune support, helps maintain healthy adrenal, central nervous, digestive, immune and reproductive systems.

Conventional Remedies:

There is a lot that can be done to help your pet cope. The most important thing is to try and identify what may be causing your pet to stress, so that you can make changes to avoid the upset in future.

The solution may be as simple as closing the drapes when there is a storm, or giving your pet a treat when he or she is visiting the vet. In other cases, it may be more serious and require treatment or advice from an animal behaviorist or veterinarian.

The common conventional treatments for stressed animals include tranquilizer-like medications – such as Fluoxetine (Prozac, Reconcile) - but these drugs may be unsuitable for pets with weakened hearts or other conditions and may be accompanied by side effects.

 

 

 

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