Having a pet is widely supposed to calm anxieties and racing thoughts, by providing companionship, comfort and something to care for. Unfortunately, pets can be a source of worry in their own right! If your pet is sick, loses its appetite, shows destructive or upsetting behaviours then it’s easy to lose sleep worrying about them!
Today we’re taking a look at some of the things you can do when you’re worried about your pet to make sure they get the help they need and you get to relax and enjoy their company as usual once again.
Time for the Vet?
If you notice your pet is injured or behaving in a strange or worrying way, then your first instinct might be to make an emergency appointment and rush it to the vet. While this is a good, caring instinct, it might be counterproductive. If your pet doesn’t need the vet, if it just needs some quiet time to recuperate in safety at home, then you’ve subjected it to a lot of stress for no positive result, reinforcing the negative associations many animals have with vets and making it harder to get them there the next time you really need help!
As the months and years go by you’ll develop better instincts and more knowledge about what’s normal for your pet, what’s non-serious and what’s genuinely worrying, but if you ever need professional input without loading your pet into a carrier, then it’s worth researching the sort of online vet advice UK veterinarians are beginning to offer. An online vet can’t do blood tests, administer medication or touch your pet for a physical examination, but via a video call they can look at the symptoms, talk with you and suggest your next course of action. At the very least they can let you know if you really do need to make an emergency trip to the vet.
Whether it’s unusual aggression, destructive chewing and clawing or obsessive grooming, our pets have many behaviours that can worry us – and cause damage to our homes! Being faced with some of these behaviour problems can be very concerning, but fortunately, a lot of the time there’s a lot you can do to help.
The best thing you can do is try to understand what’s motivating that behaviour: a lot of the time destruction, aggression and house training issues stem from boredom and anxiety: if you can understand the source of their anxiety and address it, or provide some more attention and stimulation the issues may well disappear.
If you’re at a loss and in need of help, it’s worth consulting a trainer or behaviour specialist. Ask local pet owners, or at your vet for recommendations and get the help you need!