Pet Anxiety Month.

March is Pet Anxiety Month. This is an initiative that has been launched to raise awareness of anxiety related behavioural issues affecting dogs, cats and rabbits. This nationwide campaign is partly in response to the PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report 2018 that revealed half of the veterinary professionals surveyed reported they have seen an increase in dog behaviour related issues over the last two years. Of the pet owners questioned, three quarters of dog owners reported they would like to change at least one anxiety related behaviour displayed by their dog and 90% of cat owners reported their cat was afraid of at least one thing. https://www.pdsa.org.uk/media/4371/paw-2018-full-web-ready.pdf

Many pets display anxiety related behaviour when exposed to common triggers such as loud fireworks, meeting strangers and new animals joining the household. Sometimes, however, their anxiety can be related to not having their basic needs met. The Animal Welfare Act was passed in 2006 and advises that all animals should have five basic welfare needs met including the freedom to display normal behaviour patterns. Sometimes it can be difficult for animals to adjust to modern lifestyles and this can cause them to express a variety of behavioural issues which can consequently affect an animal’s health.

Across the Avonvale Surgeries we have a wide range of expertise in dealing with common anxiety-related issues and we can advise owners how to recognise and tackle these problems. Cats often display stress by inappropriate toileting, over-grooming or becoming withdrawn. Often simple changes can be made to restore happiness to our feline friends. Dogs can show anxiety by increased vocalisation, increased aggression or destructive behaviour. Subtle changes in a dog’s body language can indicate they are suffering from high levels of anxiety. Sometimes small tweeks in their environment and routine can make a huge difference.

Rabbits and ‘small furries’ can also exhibit anxiety if their basic needs aren’t met. Our vets and nurse are happy to offer advice regarding environmental enrichment and best husbandry techniques for providing the happiest possible homes for these pets.

This entry was posted in General News, Pet health care advice.

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