Get Expert Advice on Managing Fear, Anxiety, and Stress in Pets
There’s nothing more heartbreaking than watching your pet pant, drool, whine, hide, or even harm themselves because they suffer from fear, anxiety, or stress (FAS).
Despite the fact that an estimated 50% of pets suffer from FAS, this condition is still not well-known, and pet parents may not know where to turn for help. As a result, June is Pet Anxiety Awareness (PAAW) month. In partnership with experts, veterinarians, and companies providing meaningful solutions for FAS, together, we’re aiming to alleviate FAS in pets. The official PAAW kick off week begins June 2-9 and will continue throughout the month.
The goal of this special month is to spread the word about FAS and help pet parents understand its symptoms and how to find real solutions. In addition to the resources below, www.kristenlevine.com will blog about helpful products, share advice from other experts, and interview leading authorities on this important issue.
I am Kristen Levine, pet living expert and in 2017, I founded the Pet Anxiety Awareness campaign (PAAW). Through my own personal experience with my heart-dog, Buck, I understand the struggle pet parents face when dealing with fear, anxiety, and stress (FAS).
For some pet parents, the stress and complications of having a pet with FAS can become too much. Behavior problems, often related to FAS, are the number one reason pets are surrendered to shelters.
By devoting an entire month to this heartbreaking and difficult issue, I hope to make pet parents more aware of it, and give them everything they need to help their best friend, including education, tools, resources, and most of all, hope!
SILEO® is a medication prescribed by your veterinarian to help calm your dog when frightened by loud noises (noise aversion). Common noise aversion triggers include fireworks, thunder, construction work, traffic or street noise, celebrations, vacuum cleaners, and smoke detectors. SILEO® is different from other treatments and medications because it is the first FDA-approved treatment for noise aversion in dogs. It’s clinically proven to be safe and effective without other treatments or training and it calms without sedating through an easy-to-administer, at-home treatment. See Important Safety Information below.1
What Exactly is FAS?
Fear, anxiety, and stress is the result of a neuro-chemical reaction in a pet’s brain. It can be brought on by any number of situations, including a sudden change in their environment, past trauma, being left alone, certain medical conditions, and noises, such as thunder or fireworks. A pet’s breed may also make them more disposed to suffering from FAS. But many times, it’s impossible to know exactly why a pet is displaying signs of FAS.
Pets with FAS may have symptoms such as:
Although dogs may be more apt to display more obvious symptoms, cats can suffer from FAS as well. In fact, veterinary behaviorist, Dr. Lisa Radosta, says that “Cats have as much fear, anxiety, and stress as dogs in the home environment (but) cat owners are less aware of FAS because a hiding cat may not seem like a stressed cat to them.”
Expert Articles and Videos on Pet Fear, Anxiety, and Stress (FAS)
If you’re a pet parent whose dog or cat is suffering from FAS, I invite you to use this page to learn more about FAS and to access valuable, expert guidance on the subject. In addition to the resources listed here, be sure to speak to your family veterinarian as well. He or she can help you put together a comprehensive treatment plan for your pet’s specific needs.
If your pet’s problem is severe, consider consulting with a board-certified veterinary behaviorist near you through the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists.
- Does your dog suffer from noise aversion? Use this checklist to identify triggers and behaviors.
- Canine Noise Aversion and SILEO®
- Less Stressful Veterinary Visits — Fear Free
- How to prepare your dog for the veterinary exam
- How Dakota Went from Fearful to Fear Free
- What is a Veterinary Behaviorist?
- Signs of Separation Anxiety (VetVine)
- The Impact of Separation Anxiety on the Caregiver (VetVine)
- From Fearful to Fear Free: A Positive Program to Free Your Dog from Anxiety, Fears, and Phobias
- Anxiety and compulsive disorders in cats
- Less Stressful Veterinary Visits — Fear Free
- Extreme fear and anxiety in cats
- Pooka’s Journey (Podcast)
- Nine Ways to Enrich for Your Cats Environment
- What is a Veterinary Behaviorist?
- Fear Free: How Pet Owners Can Enjoy Veterinary Visits with Their Pets
- What are You Doing for Environmental Enrichment?
In addition to the above resources, you will find numerous helpful articles on Fear, Anxiety, and Stress in Pets right here on the Pet Living Blog.
Calming Products that Support PAAW 2019
Zylkene® is a behavior supplement formulated with alpha-casozepine, a clinically proven ingredient that helps dogs and cats relax without causing sedation or drowsiness. Contained in a vegetable-based capsule, Zylkene is highly palatable and easy to administer by feeding whole or opened at meal time. Zylkene comes in three strengths to provide flexible dosing depending on a cat or dog’s size and is ideal for helping pets cope with short-term or long-term stressors such as thunderstorms, fireworks, traveling, veterinary visits, moving, or adapting to new people. Visit www.myhappypets.com/zylkene for more information.
Tomlyn’s Relax & Calm Chews are a tasty chew that can help dogs and cats cope with stressful situations. The product contains two active ingredients, L-tryptophan and chamomile, which help promote a sense of calm and relaxation. The third active ingredient, ginger, helps settle uneasy stomachs that often accompany stress and anxiety in pets. Relax & Calm may help in these situations: thunderstorm or firework phobias, veterinary visits, boarding, traveling, new environments, loud noises, vacations, kenneling, introduction of animals, changes at home – visitors, new baby, guests, and being home alone. Find these products at your favorite pet store. Learn more at www.tomlyn.com.
ElleVet Sciences Hemp CBD Chews and Oil for Pets gives pet owners an extremely effective and safe way to alleviate stress and anxiety in their dog or cat. CBD is known to have a profound anti-anxiety and calming effect without sedation or side effects, and veterinarians throughout the country have been using ElleVet chews and oils to treat their anxious or stressed patients. ElleVet CBD products don’t sedate pets, but calms them. ElleVet CBD products are successfully used with rescue dogs, dogs with separation issues, and dogs with thunderstorm or car ride phobias. ElleVet is the only company to have done clinical trials with both Cornell Vet School and the University of Florida Vet schools. Your pet trusts you to help them and vets trust ElleVet as the only tested CBD product available. Learn more at www.ellevetsciences.com.
PAAW Industry Partners
Developed by “America’s Veterinarian,” Dr. Marty Becker, Fear Free® offers online and in-person education to veterinary professionals, the pet professional community, and pet owners. Fear Free provides both professionals and pet lovers alike with the knowledge and tools to look after a pet’s physical and emotional wellbeing. Veterinary or pet professionals can learn more about becoming Fear Free Certified® by visiting fearfreepets.com. Pet owners can visit fearfreehappyhomes.com
DOGTV provides television for dogs as a 24/7 digital TV channel with scientifically-developed programming for dogs. Through years of research with some of the world’s top pet experts, special content was created to meet specific attributes of a dog’s sense of vision and hearing and supports their natural behavior patterns. The result: a confident, happy dog, who’s less likely to develop stress, separation anxiety or other related problems. To get 30 days of DOGTV for free, go to www.dogtv.com and enter the code: PETLIVING.
Dr. Marty Becker, “America’s Veterinarian,” has spent his life working toward better health for pets. He is the founder of Fear Free™, an initiative to take the fear out of vet visits
As a pet living expert, whether I’m reviewing a great new product, or telling an inspirational “tail” – I know pet parents seek content and connections with people who love pets as much as they do.
Laura Nativo is a TV host, pet lifestyle expert, Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Karen Pryor Certified Training Partner and proud dog mom. With her tips on positive reinforcement training, she helps make dog training easy, accessible and fun for both ends of the leash.
1IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION: Do not use SILEO in dogs with severe cardiovascular disease, respiratory, liver or kidney diseases, or in conditions of shock, severe debilitation, or stress due to extreme heat, cold or fatigue or in dogs hypersensitive to dexmedetomidine or to any of the excipients. SILEO should not be administered in the presence of preexisting hypotension, hypoxia, or bradycardia. Do not use in dogs sedated from previous dosing. SILEO has not been evaluated in dogs younger than 16 weeks of age or in dogs with dental or gingival disease that could have an effect on the absorption of SILEO. SILEO has not been evaluated for use in breeding, pregnant, or lactating dogs or for aversion behaviors to thunderstorms. Transient pale mucous membranes at the site of application may occur with SILEO use. Other uncommon adverse reactions included emesis, drowsiness or sedation. Handlers should avoid direct exposure of SILEO to their skin, eyes or mouth. Failure to lock the ring-stop on the syringe before dosing SILEO could potentially lead to an accidental overdose. Always review INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE before dispensing and dosing. See full Prescribing Information.
SILEO® is trademark owned by Orion Corporation Orion Pharma Animal Health. It is manufactured by Orion Corporation and distributed by Zoetis under license from Orion Corporation Orion Pharma Animal Health
Kristen Levine has a consulting relationship with Zoetis.