Is your dog or cat fearful or anxious during thunderstorms, fireworks season, or car rides? Check out these options for products designed to help dogs and cats relax.
TIP: Pets must be carefully acclimated to any calming products, while they are happy and calm already. If you only try these products when the pet is fearful, you can accidentally create a negative association, which increases fear and anxiety, rather than lessening it.
Pet Calming Pheromones
Pet calming pheromones are available in sprays, room diffusers, and control-release collars:
Dog appeasing pheromones mimic those released by mother dogs when puppies nurse.
Cat calming pheromones mimic feline facial pheromones that cats use to mark their territory as safe and secure.
Pet Calming Wraps or Clothes
Certain body wraps and pet clothes are designed to squeeze pets in just the right way to make them feel more secure. Anxiety Wrap and Thundershirt are two of the biggest brands for both dogs and cats.
Pets wear some of these products on the body. Others are worn on the face or head.
Some families use human bandages, wrapped just the right way using the T-Touch method, to get the same effect. These products can be used very successfully when combating the yearly firework shows by providing a secure feeling.
Pet Calming Music
For years, you’ve been able to buy dog-calming music on CDs. Recently, Through a Dogs Ear’s Lisa Spector introduced cat-calming music and a new canine MP3 player (called iCalmDog) that’s pre-loaded with 4 hours of dog calming music. It can cycle through the music several times, providing a whole day worth of soothing.
Essentially, pet calming music is classical music that is slower in tempo, simpler in arrangement, and lower in key that regular classical music. This “psycho-acoustic” music provides a comforting overlay of sounds in a world that’s far too noisy for our pets and us.
Pet Calming Medications
Having lived with a truly, clinically fearful dog for nearly nine years now, I can tell you that I avoided using medications for too long. I didn’t want to be the girl whose dog needed drugs to cope with the world. I regret the time my fearful Border Collie suffered because I had issues with using medications.
If your dog or cat suffers from generalized anxiety or daily fearfulness, please speak to your veterinarian about what medications might help.