Some Common Pet Stressors That Contribute to Behavior Problems
Pet stress can be caused by many things that we as pet owners sometimes overlook, such as sights, smells, sounds and the effects of either inadequate or excessive stimulation.
Many of us tend to forget just how different our pets are from ourselves, but, then again, just how similar they are in some ways, too.
Have you seen that Bose ad with a photo of a dog poking his nose out of the car window and the headline implies he may be doing this because your sound system is not a Bose system? Many of us are aware dogs and cats, in particular, are much more sensitive to the common sensory experiences we are likely to ignore, such as television or radio, compact fluorescent light bulbs and perfume to name a few. On the other hand, these same pets are just like humans in that they suffer from boredom and lack of stimulation or exercise, which are other leading causes of emotional stress.
Keep your pet happy and stress-free by taking a look at the information below:
Sounds That Can Stress Your Pet
Ever wonder how the heck your dog seems to be waiting for you in the front window before you even pull into the driveway? Dogs and cats are noise-sensitive species. They can hear very high tones much better than humans can. Because of this, acoustic stress in pets can stem from places we never thought to look, such as compact fluorescent light bulbs, light dimmers and certain CRT (cathode ray tube) and LCD (liquid crystal display) screens common in computers and televisions. These products produce high-frequency noises that your pets can hear really well.
You can reduce noise pollution in the home by turning down all electronics, especially during the night while everyone's trying to get some sleep. And if you're away from the home, dog television programs are an option to help keep four-legged friends calm and entertained. There are also pet-specific composers creating music intended to soothe and calm dogs and cats. The music used in these recordings is psycho-acoustically arranged to have a positive impact on animal listeners. How about a nice classical rendition of "You Ain't Nothin' But a Hound Dog or Shake, Rattle and Roll Over"?
Sights Commonly Overlooked
Bright lights and continuously moving images on television and computer screens are perhaps the most common visual pet stressors. It is difficult for an animal, no matter how comfy they may appear, to really get useful rest while a screen is displaying so many distracting pictures.
Do your pet and yourself a favor, and turn off – or better yet unplug – all electronics when they are not in use. This will rid the home of even the smallest blinking lights and hums.
Smells All Around
A dog's sense of smell can be millions of times more powerful than its human counterpart, and there are dozens of things that don't necessarily bother us, but can cause a serious case of odor-induced stress in pets.
The most common stressful odors include cleaning agents, perfumes, cigarettes, air fresheners, hair sprays and scented cat litters. And while the most obvious of these causes can be easy to eliminate, some are just too faint for us to locate and remove.
Balance out Stimulations
Stimulation is a doubled-edged sword. Pets can experience emotional stress by both a lack of and an excess of stimulation. For example, you wouldn't require your children to stay indoors all day with no games or friends, and then only let them outside for a few minutes at a time once or twice a day. The boredom and lack of exercise would have a very negative effect on their happiness, diet and energy level – not to mention increased risk of injury due to inconsistent exercise.
However, on the flip side, another example would be an overdose of stimulation – you also wouldn't allow a child to run 5 miles, swim 5 miles, dig 300 holes and climb 300 tress in one day, because that would obviously be too much, and children don't necessarily understand limits and pacing one's self.
So, to eliminate stress, overeating, behavioral problems and boredom, allow your pet a healthy and consistent level of discipline, exercise and stimulation. Walks and sporadic playtime to promote happiness and healthy interaction should happen often.
Other contributing factors to pet stress include various physical health problems and even pack issues. Pack issues are often linked to stimulation because things like leaving a pet alone for too long, not providing proper discipline, lacking stability or a change in routine – divorce, newborn, death or moving homes – can upset an animal.
Getting rid of unnecessary stressors will no doubt improve the life of your pet. However, if you think your pet is experiencing stress and the tips above seem to have no positive effect, it's best to consult your vet, especially if you notice any unhealthy changes or odd behaviors, since the underlying cause could be something serious.
Have a Pawsitively Tail Waggin' Good Day!
P.S. Ruff Haus is a results focused brand consulting company located in San Diego, CA. Let us help unleash your brand image, connect with your customers and gain their loyalty.