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Beth McFadden3 years ago

Is your pet stressed? Read on for some common signs

Pets can be anxious for a variety of reasons, and each species is different! Dogs can suffer greatly from separation anxiety, cats can become anxious due to loud noises, and other animals such as birds can get stressed if they're without another bird friend. No matter your pet, it's important to recognise and be aware of the symptoms of an animal in distress. We've picked out two of the most common pets who suffer from anxiety and what some typical signs of anxiety are. If you notice they're suffering from any of these, we've also found some local Coffs Harbour vets to help you out.

Cats

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The most popular form of anxiety in cats is due to loud noises such as fireworks or thunderstorms, though they may also be anxious when it comes to meeting new people, or even a change in their daily routine. When cats are scared and anxious, their first reaction is flight. If your cat is anxious, you’ll probably notice that they:

– Hang around doors and windows, even scratch to get out
– They may physically tremble
– Stress may cause physical symptoms such as diarrhoea or loss of appetite

The most effective way to alleviate symptoms of stress in cats is by counter-conditioning them. If you notice they get particularly scared when around loud noises, try and simulate the situation and give them a cue such as sitting still. Whenever they listen to your cue, rather than react fearfully, give them plenty of treats as a reward.

Birds

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Since we can’t read their facial expressions, often we find it difficult to recognise if birds are feeling stressed or anxious. Birds are very sensitive to environmental changes, so it’s important if there has been a change such as moving house, you keep an eye out eye on them. Common symptoms for a stressed bird can include:

– An increased amount of noise, such as screaming
– Eating less food
– Showing increased aggression towards their owner

Sometimes, a bird will adapt to the change in its own time, and these symptoms will slowly fade away. However, if there is no improvement, it’s important you help them settle in. Anxiety in birds (especially parrots) can develop into extreme self-harm behaviour (in some cases, they will pull all of their feathers out!). Make sure you give your birds plenty of engaging puzzles and toys throughout the day to keep them distracted. It’s also important to make sure they are eating a balanced diet. If a bird is given too many sugary foods (such as fruit) or even a high amount of carbs, this can increase their anxiety as they don’t have the opportunity to fly it off! Speak to your vet about how much food you should be giving them.

Have you noticed your dog has been acting strangely? Check out these signs that your dog needs a vet, and some ways to keep your pup happy!

Haven’t been able to shake your pet’s anxiety? Check out these Coffs Harbour vets below for some advice!

Rose Avenue Veterinary Hospital

Rose Avenue Veterinary Hospital is the perfect place to head if you notice your animal is showing signs of stress. The owner of the Rose Avenue Veterinary Hospital and the Toormina Road Veterinary Clinic has a special interest in avian medicine and health, so this is the perfect place to visit if your feathered friend is stressed or showing signs of anxiety. With over 20 years’ of veterinary experience, your pet (big or small) will be in safe hands with the friendly team at the Rose Avenue Veterinary Hospital.
Where: 173 Rose Avenue, Coffs Harbour NSW 2450

Pacific Vetcare

Pacific Vetcare in Coffs Harbour has a huge number of qualified and experienced vets, prepared to see to your pet no matter the size! With plenty of experience with small animals, your cat will be in safe hands if you visit these skilled animal-lovers. They also have a specialised avian vet to see to your parrot or budgie if it starts acting strangely. The friendly team here will be able to help you treat your pet’s anxiety, and maybe even administer special medication to help reduce the symptoms of anxiety and make it easier for them to train. Contact the team here to book in your pet today!
Where: 320 Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour NSW 2450

Have you got any great tips for reducing pet anxiety? Comment and let us know your favourite methods!

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