Anxiety, Pets, and Mental Health

by | General Pet Care |

Mental Health Awareness Week is October 6-12 – and as we talk about human health, it’s also important to talk about our pets! The ASPCA has a very helpful blog outlining “Can Pets Suffer from Anxiety?

Today we’re sharing some helpful information from this blog. Hopefully this is helpful for you and your pets!

Anxiety in pets

So, is it possible for pets to experience anxiety? The ASPCA certainly thinks so.

“Victims of cruelty, abuse or neglect, may be especially prone to anxiety. But anxiety can occur in animals from any background.” – ASPCA.

For pets, the ASPCA says separation anxiety is the most common way this manifests. This type of anxiety results when pets become upset as a result of their owner being away from them. For tips on how to help your pet cope with separation anxiety see our blog here.

According to the ASPCA, there isn’t conclusive evidence to say why pets develop this anxiety, however, for pets in animal centres, it may be due to the memory of losing a companion during another part of their life.

Recognizing the signs

One of the most common signs of separation anxiety, is for the dog to be destructive when their humans leave them alone. The ASPCA also outlines a few other common signs:

  • Urinate or defecate
  • Bark or Howl
  • Chew/destroy things
  • Dig
  • Try to escape
  • Pace
  • Attempt to prevent you from leaving

On the other side, for cats the signs would be more things like hiding, not eating, social withdrawal, panting, hypervigilance, dilated pupils, aggression and twitching tails or ears, which can all indicate stress and anxiety.

For tips on how to help your pet cope, and treatment options, read the ASPCA’s full blog here!

I stand behind SPCA with my monthly gift

I stand behind SPCA with my monthly gift. I am so happy there are folks like you to care for those who can’t help themselves.  My family and I have had animals all our lives and know what a comfort they are.  Thank you SPCA.