Just like with people, stress can have a negative impact on an animal’s health. The signs of stress may vary by the individual animal, do you know what they could be?
Let’s start with signs of stress in our feline friends. Signs of stress in a cat can include hiding, urinating outside the litter box, not eating, digestive issues, excessive grooming, excessive scratching, aggression towards people or other animals, and increased sleeping. Unfortunately, these signs can also indicate sickness or disease. If your cat is showing any of these signs, you should take them in for a full physical exam with your veterinarian. It can rule out any disease process, and you can also discuss with your veterinarian what the best steps are to eliminate stress for your cat.
Signs of stress in our canine friends include but are not limited to whining, barking, licking, drooling, yawning, blinking more, showing the whites of their eyes, pinned back ears, tucked tails, rigid posture, panting, shedding more than usual, hiding, turning or running away, and potentially aggression. Again, all of these can also be symptoms of pain, disease, or sickness. If your dog is exhibiting these signs, he or she should receive a full physical exam by a veterinarian to rule out any sickness. Then it can be discussed with your vet what you should do to make your pet less stressed.
Common things that stress pets out include new places, new animals in the household, new people in the household, children, moving homes, losing their friends, loud noises, thunder, fireworks, lack of exercise, inconsistency when it comes to their daily routine, and when their owners go on vacation.
Written by: Mikaila Cariou, RVT