Stress & Your Pet: Key to Happiness

January 15th, 2014

Your pet’s mental health is just as important as his physical health when it comes to quality of life and longevity so be sure to make the effort to nurture his mind. If you are concerned about your dog or cat’s mental health then contact your veterinarian.

Cure the Boredom Blues

What can you do when your pet’s suffering from the boredom blues?


  • Enrich their environment: Keep their environment clean and tidy. Make engaging items available to your pet at any time. Cats may enjoy a scratching post, a climbing post, or a box to hide in. For your dog consider a nice soft ball, a chew toy, or a kiddie pool to splash around in.
  • Change it up: Switch your pet’s toys every 5-7 days to keep them interested (you don’t have to discard them and get new ones just rotate them).
  • The world beyond: If your pet is indoors most of the time then be sure you provide a view of the yard so he can observe the exciting events that occur beyond their home. Let your pet outside as often as you can. If you have a cat he may be happy on a leash or you can create a safe, enclosed outdoor play area.
  • Create a norm and stick to it: Feed your pet at the same time every day and use the same food and water dishes.
  • Use treats and meals as a reward (when possible): Feed your pet immediately after you’ve taken him for a walk or engaged him in an activity so that your pet feels he has earned his food.


Separation Anxiety

This disorder is more common in dogs than cats as dogs are “pack” animals and, as such, more social by nature. Symptoms may include: energetic greetings bordering on frantic when you return home, destructive behaviour while you’re gone, howling and whining when you leave and while you’re away. Train your dog to be alone from an early age. Start by leaving for short periods of time and gradually your dog should become comfortable being alone. If your pet needs some extra help saying goodbye try taking him for a walk before you leave; don’t make a big deal when you leave the house – no eye contact, no contact, no fuss – to keep your pet from getting worked up; be strong, calm and assertive to let your dog know that the “pack leader” knows it’s going to be okay.

Read more about identifying stress in your pet here. If you are concerned about your pet contact your veterinarian.

This Blog was written by the furry family at Petplan Australasia. Petplan Pet Insurance specialises in animal and animal industry insurance. Our practices keep the role that pet insurance plays in responsible pet ownership and the health of the pet at the forefront. For tips to keep your pet healthy, make sure you follow us on Facebook.

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