When a pet becomes anxious it can lead to distressing behaviours related to aggression and hyperactivity. Herbal remedies for cats and dogs are gaining popularity among pet owners due to the natural stress and anxiety-relieving potential of these products.
There are a variety of reasons a pet may get anxious:
- Separation anxiety: Many pets experience anxiety when separated from their owners. This could be when an owner goes to work or leaves a pet with a friend or family member for a period of time.
- Loud noises or noisy environments: Loud noises generated from fireworks, loud parties or gatherings and weather changes such as strong winds or thunderstorms may aggravate or frighten a pet. Certain animals such as dogs, for example, are able to hear sound frequencies we cannot and are therefore much more sensitive to a noisy environment.
- Disruptions in routine: Changes to a pet owner’s routine can affect pets. Examples include if an owner moves house, or a pet is re-homed. Even slight changes to a daily schedule such as changes in the timings of walks or meal times can cause anxiety.
- Exposure to certain situations: Situations a pet might find frightening or undesirable such as car trips or visits to the vet may cause them to become anxious.
- History of trauma: Sadly, some pets may have experienced traumatic events in their lifetime. This is common in rescue animals which may have been abandoned or treated poorly. Trauma in animals, as in humans, can cause long-lasting effects such as anxiety or disruptions to behavioural patterns.
- Medical conditions: The development of certain medical conditions, such as hyperthyroidism or cognitive dysfunction may result in anxiety in a pet.
- Breed characteristics: Certain breeds may have tendencies towards a certain temperament. Famously, German Shepherds and Border Collies, for example, may be more prone to anxiety.
The good news is it is quite easy to adopt some natural herbal strategies into your pet’s routine to help calm their anxiety. Some common herbal calming remedies for cats and dogs include chamomile, valerian root, passionflower, skullcap, and lavender.
Please note, however, certain herbs may disrupt treatment plans from a vet or interfere with a certain type of medication your pet might be taking. Therefore it is recommended to consult with a vet prior to using natural remedies.
So, what are the benefits of natural herbal remedies for cats and dogs?
- Natural Ingredients: Firstly, these remedies tend to be natural and chemical-free, which could be a healthier choice for your pet compared with chemically-laden products.
- Stress-Reducing Properties: The stress and anxiety-reducing properties of these products could help in certain situations where you expect your pet to be disturbed. Such situations may include travelling and long journeys, fireworks, thunderstorms or vet visits.
- Improvement In Behaviour: Certain unwanted behaviours caused by anxiety may be addressed with the use of herbal remedies. Common reductions are seen in aggression, excessive barking and destructive behaviours.
- Reduced Risk of Side Effects: Herbal treatments generally tend to have fewer side effects than prescription medications. Herbal remedies could also be considered in cases where a pet cannot tolerate certain medications.
- Improved Quality Of Life: Herbal calming remedies can help to improve the quality of life for pets and their owners, by reducing erratic pet behaviours.
The use of herbal calming remedies for cats and dogs can have many benefits. Being natural and safe, reducing stress and anxiety, improving behaviour, and having fewer side effects than prescription medication, these simple applications may have a big impact on improving the overall quality of life for dogs and cats.
However, please consider that it is important to investigate the origin of a pet’s stress and anxiety in order to rule out other factors which could be causing it. Consulting with a vet or a certified animal behaviourist is advised as it can be the most helpful strategy in developing a plan to manage and reduce anxiety in pets on an individual basis.
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