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Stressed out?!

Stressed out?!
0 22 December 2016

Did you know that dogs and cats also suffer from stress? This can occur if their needs are not met, or from various different situations such as

  • Adoption or settling into a new home
  • Social interactions (stressful especially if there is no opportunity to escape)
  • Exposure to new environments and situations (new people, loud noises, thunderstorms, fireworks)
  • Separation (being left at home alone or in kennels)
  • Travelling
  • Handling (grooming,hugging,petting) if not used to it already

You may not necessarily pick on the signs of stress in your pet. Some signs are more obvious, such as trembling, hiding or whining/meowing. Sometimes it is less apparent, and signs such as drooling, licking, scratching and barking can make the problem seem more like excitement than fear or stress. Severe stress can be displayed as decreased appetite, decreased play behaviour, reduced social interaction (with both people and other pets) and variable sleeping patterns. Cats may show signs of urinating inappropriately in the house if they are suffering from stress.

Something that can really help with stress in both dogs and cats are pheromones.

What are pheromones?

Pheromones are natural chemicals secreted by animals so that they can communicate with members of the same species. When cats rub their face against an object, they are depositing pheromones in order to mark a familiar territory. Female dogs secrete a pheromone while feeding their pups, which has a calming affect on the puppies.

How can I use pheromones to help my pet?

There are two products available from manufacturer CEVA, Feliway (Feline Facial Pheromone), and Adaptil (Dog Appeasing Pheromone). These are commercially available and they come in various forms.

I’d like to know more about Feliway for my cat?

Feliway comes in a plug in diffuser form, or in a spray form, and this artificially reproduces the facial marking that is natural to cats. Scientific studies have shown that using Feliway in your home will keep your cat around the house more. Each diffuser covers a set number of square meters, and needs to be replaced every month. If you have problems with your cat spraying or scratching in certain areas of the house then Feliway spray can be used in these areas (after a throrough cleaning) to reduce this behaviour. The spray is also very useful for travel and vet visits, as you can spray it into your cat carrier and car before travel.

I’d like to know more about Adaptil for my dog?

Adaptil has been shown to help dogs handle stressful situations better and adapt to new situations. There are three different ways you can use Adaptil dog appeasing pheromone:

  1. Adaptil Collar- useful for puppy socialisation, training, travelling and separation anxiety. Your dog’s body heat causes the collar to warm up and constantly diffuse the appeasing pheromone. Each collar lasts for four weeks.
  2. Adaptil Diffuser- useful for the home environment, where problems such as puppy night crying, loud noises or sepation anxiety are a problem. This has been shown in scientific studies to reduce signs of stress in dogs and puppies.
  3. Adaptil Spray- useful for car travel or boarding. The spray can be used on bedding, inside a crate or in the car to help you dog manage stressful situations. The effect will last for 4-5hours

There is a tablet option available also, Adaptil tablets. These tablets do not contain pheromones however, but they do contain various ingredients such as L-tryptophan and GABA which have been shown to reduce stress and facilitate relaxation. This option is useful for short term, fast acting stress relief for travelling and car sickness, and can be used in conjunction with the other Adaptil options above.

Please do not hesitate to call us on 065 67 97 444 if you have any questions or if you feel your pet would benefit from one of the above.

Posted in Uncategorized by Ennis Veterinary Clinic

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