Do you have an anxious or easily excited pet? It’s not at all uncommon, and if you do, then you know how frustrating it can be.The tips below will help keep your pet calm, and your household harmonious. Although they were written with dog-owners specifically in mind, these tips are broadly applicable, no matter what kind of pet you’ve got.
Pets Pick Up On Your Vibe
If you’re calm, they’re calm. If you’re agitated, they’re agitated. Knowing this, the first, best thing you can do to calm your pet is to remain calm yourself. Sometimes that’s easier said than done, but if you find yourself getting frustrated, just close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.
When speaking to your pet, remember to use a calm, neutral or friendly tone, and keep your movements smooth and practiced, rather than quick and jerky, which can send mixed signals to your pet.
Positive Reinforcement Only
Too many pet owners rely on negative reinforcement to try and influence behaviors. That means yelling at, or smacking an unruly pet, and unfortunately, it doesn’t work, and can often make the problem worse.
Positive reinforcement that rewards the behavior you want is much more effective. It can be something as simple as a pat on the head, a belly rub, or a good scratch behind the ears, but of course, treats always help!
A Little Help from CBD!
Speaking of treats, a number of manufacturers make CBD-infused animal treats, and you should strongly consider picking some up.In addition to having a number of health benefits such as helping ward off inflammation, minimize arthritis pain and helping to control seizures in animals prone to get them, the chemical compound is also known to have a calming influence.
Don’t worry, CBD isn’t psychoactive, so you’re not getting your pet high, or giving him a buzz, you’re just giving him a little all-natural chemical assistance to help with the calming.
Bear in mind that you don’t want to break out the CBD treats all the time, so you’ll want to also have a supply of “regular” treats too, saving the special treats for times when your pet gets anxious, nervous, or overly excited.
Structure, Structure, structure!
Animals don’t like chaos, and most don’t do well with change, so this isn’t something you can do in an on again/off again fashion. You can’t use positive reinforcement to reward your pet for remaining calm sometimes, then yell or hit him on other occasions. Consistence matters, and if you adopt a consistent approach, you’ll find that you solve the problem much more quickly.
All pets need lots of interaction from their owners. The more they get, the more well-adjusted they tend to be, so be sure you’re walking or playing with your pet on a regular basis – daily, at a minimum, and preferably multiple times a day.
Not only does it give your pet something to look forward to which may curb bad behaviors, but the more they interact with you, the more sensitive they are to your cues, which will make the tips we’ve already talked about that much more effective.
The bottom line is, if your pet is anxious, afraid, or overly excited, you're the only one who can do the work and give your pet the care and attention they deserve. Follow these tips and you and your furry friend will be on the path to successfully managing their anxieties.