Posts for: May, 2014
Now that nice weather is here many of us will take to spring cleaning, home remodeling projects, or even outdoor gardening. Although we may be looking forward to a new, fresh look, our pets on the other hand may not be so fond leading to increased stress and behavioral problems. With some advanced planning and following of the tips below, we can help you to keep your pet stress free.
- Alert any workers that a pet is in the household. Ask that they alert you if any hazardous fumes or sprays will be used in the process. If you will be doing projects DIY, try to pick products that are pet safe and use natural ingredients.
- Make up a safe and comfortable place for your pet to escape the noise, ideally in a room as far away from the work zone as possible. Be sure to move in all of your pet’s essentials: food, water, litter box, bedding, toys, etc. Pets that are crate trained may feel safest in their crate. Remember to put a sign on the door alerting those in the house that your pet is in the room and to keep the door closed at all times.
- You may try leaving a TV on or playing calming music to help drown out any construction noise. We recommend playing the music for your pet prior to your project in order to get your pet familiar with the sounds. Be sure to offer positive reinforcements such as treats and praise each time you start the music selection.
- Each evening after workers have finished for the day and before you let your pet out of its room, check the construction area for any hazardous materials or escape routes (E.g. holes in the wall or open doors and windows).
- Pick up any small objects that may be left behind like nails, staples, or tacks that your pet may swallow or injure itself on.
- Check for any poisonous substances such as paint or paint thinner that may get on your pet’s fur. Cats especially are prone to grooming excessively and may become ill if ingesting any foreign substance. While gardening, make sure to avoid any poisonous plants, fertilizer, and insectiside that may be toxic not only to pets but also wild animals such as visiting birds and squirrels.
- Remember to spend as much time playing and socializing your pet. This will help ease both of your stress and strengthen the bond between you.
- There are many anti-anxiety products on the market today. If your pet will tolerate clothing, you may consider trying the Thundershirt, a pet product that provides gentle, constant pressure to help calm your pet. There are also pheromone-based products, such as Feliway for cats and Adaptil for dogs that help ease anxiety during stressful situations and deter destructive behavior (E.g. urine marking, scratching, or aggressiveness). If your pet still exhibits destructive behavior despite these tips, you may consider using an anti-anxiety medication that can be prescribed by your veterinarian.
If you notice any behavioral changes in your pet or increased anxiety, please discuss your concerns with your veterinarian.