Understanding Fear, Anxiety And Phobias In Pets: Pt. 3

Destructive behavior may be a sign your pet is experiencing anxiety.
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CHARLOTTE – Over the last two weeks, we have defined anxiety, fear and phobias as they relate to pets and talked about causes of fear and the way it can present itself. Let’s dig a little bit deeper into recognizing anxiety in your fur babies. While fear may be easier to recognize, noticing and understanding anxiety in pets can be a little bit different.

So, what are some signs of anxiety that you can look for in your pet? They include vocalization, destructive or escape behavior, inappropriate urination (especially in cats), compulsive (common in herding breeds), stereotypic or repetitive behaviors like excessive grooming (also more common in cats), and panting, pacing, or drooling.

Anxiety can also be situational. For instance, some pets may feel anxious when going on a car ride because they typically go somewhere they consider unpleasant (vet or groomer), or even because they experience motion sickness. Separation anxiety – where a pet becomes anxious when an owner gets ready to leave for the day- is also common. Cats especially don’t like change, so they commonly experience anxiety in situations such as adding a new pet or family member (like bringing home a baby), changing schedules, or moving into a new house.

If your pet shows any signs of anxiety, it’s best to continue to watch for such behaviors and bring them to your veterinarian’s attention if they are repeated. Stay tuned for more information, including recognizing phobias, next week!

Passionate Paws Animal Hospital is a proud member of the Union County Chamber of Commerce and the Waxhaw Business Association.

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