With fireworks, outdoor gatherings, thunderstorms and vacations, summer can be a tough time for pets. What’s fun and exciting for you could be stressful for your furry family members. Think about it: does your dog sit at your side to watch Fourth of July fireworks? Is he content staying at an overnight kennel while you’re out of town? Does she readily jump in the car for your annual family road trip? Perhaps not. If you notice your pet reacting unfavorably to certain situations, it could be a sign of emotional stress.
Fortunately, there are several ways to help ease pet stress, whether you are at home or on the go. If you find that stressful situations are getting in the way of Fido or Fluffy living their happiest, healthiest lives, consider these tips.
Pet Stress Tips for Summer
First and foremost, tune into your pet’s body language, behavior and environment. Are they behaving differently than their “normal” selves? Oftentimes “bad” behavior can be mistaken for “stressed” behavior. Some signs your pet may be stressed include excessive barking, meowing, scratching, pacing, hiding or destructive behavior. Are they showing any of the five stages of fear: fighting, fleeing, fainting, freezing or fiddling? If so, your pet is trying to tell you something is not right.
2. Consider pet stress relief products
Rescue Remedy® Pet is a homeopathic liquid stress relief formula made with Bach® Original Flower Remedies. Its unique blend of five natural flower essences – Rock Rose, Clematis, Impatiens, Cherry Plum and Star of Bethlehem – helps ease pet mental tension and stress-related behavior.*
Simply administer four drops orally from the palm of your hand, or add drops to their food, treats or water, leading up to and during stressful events. It’s a vegan, sedative-free and non-alcoholic formula with no known drug interactions, so it is safe for all ages, weights and breeds of pets like dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits and even lizards!
3. Provide a safe haven
If your pet has a favorite spot in the house, try making it a little oasis for extra comfort and security. Set up their special place – in their crate, a cage, a corner of the living room or under the kitchen table – with their favorite blanket and pillow. Toss in an old T-shirt of yours for the familiar scent. Then assure them that this is their dedicated safe space for when times get stressful, helping them to feel loved and protected.
4. Be prepared
Whether you’re taking an extended road trip or just headed across town for a vet visit, don’t forget to pack a bag for your pet. Include food, water a comforting toy, a special high-value treat and any other items you may need while you’re away. By bringing along essentials and some comforts from home, your pet will feel a little more at ease when faced with those not-so-comfortable situations.
5. Exercise their bodies and minds
Just as exercise is helpful for reducing stress in people, it can help pets experiencing stress. Give your pet plenty of exercise before and after stressful events. Take a long walk or run, play a rousing game of fetch or tug-o-war, or do some mental exercises with enrichment toys. All of these activities can help reduce your pet’s stress levels. If your pet is feeling physically and emotionally stimulated, they may be less likely to act out during times of stress.
6. Be a calm role model
Did you know that pets can pick up on your emotions? They may be able to sense when you are feeling sad, frightened, happy, and – yes – even stressed. Studies show that owners who experience long-term stress can pass this on to their dogs, too. Yikes! Between juggling work, family and personal life, everyone experiences stress from time to time. Be sure to practice healthy stress management techniques in order to keep your own levels in check – and to avoid passing stressful feelings onto your pet.
Rescue® is not just for pets – it can help adults and children, too. So if you are feeling life’s pressures start to build, try Rescue Remedy® Stress Relief Drops. Developed by a doctor more than 80 years ago, homeopathic Rescue Remedy® is formulated with five natural Bach® flower essences to help you stress less, stay calm and in control.* Rescue® bottles are small and discreet, so they are easy to slip into your car glovebox, purse, overnight bag or just in your pocket. The non-habit forming, vegan formula is safe and gentle for the whole family to use. Simply add four Rescue® drops to your water bottle or directly onto your tongue to help sooth your tension and relieve stress.