We love them dearly, but sometimes our pets still get nervous – whether from thunderstorms, fireworks, or even being home alone.
When pets get anxious, it’s tough to know what to do to help them feel better. If you have a nervous pet, you’re not alone. We’re experienced at easing the nerves of both the pets and parents that have anxiety about being apart from one another.
Cats and dogs regularly experience at least some symptoms of nervousness when they are away from home and boarding somewhere overnight. You might have noticed your pet exhibiting various behaviors, including excessive panting, barking, shaking, or hiding at least a time or two. They can also be confused and panicky, but more than that, they will often simply act differently when you’re around.
While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for treating pet anxiety, several options may help your furry friend (and you!) feel more relaxed. In this blog post, you’ll gain peace of mind and a better understanding of how Kennel Club LAX works with dogs and cats to create the right home away from home for your pets.
What Causes Nervousness for Pets?
When your pet is nervous, it can feel impossible to pinpoint the cause.
You might be surprised to know that their nervousness can sometimes mirror your own. If you’re anxious about being away from them, they likely sense it. People do not often realize the effect their own nervousness can have on their pets. When pet owners are tense, their pet will often exhibit signs of tension, too. Without intervention and redirection, anxiety can lead to ongoing behavioral problems and even health issues for your pet.
Other times, pets respond like humans to disruptions in their routine. Animals, like humans, thrive when they’re given a routine. When interrupted, it can cause stress and confusion. The experience can be far more profound than simple separation anxiety for many pets.
To help ease your pets’ nervousness, stick to your daily routine as much as possible – especially when preparing to board your pet. While it might seem like a great idea to pull out your traveling supplies early to get a head start on packing – this will only alert your pets that their human is leaving them!
How Can I Help My Pet Adapt?
Many pets adopted and conditioned during quarantine may not be familiar with what it’s like to be away from you for extended periods. To best support them, gradually introduce your pet to the concept of being away from you. Start with small steps – taking a few minutes here and there until you build up time will help both of you minimize anxiety.
Create a safe space for your pet. A safe space can be a room, crate, or even a spot in your yard where your pet can go to feel safe and secure. This routine will help us create a similar safe space when your pet boards with us to help them get cozy and comfortable.
Encourage positive actions. If your pet has separation or outside time anxiety, leave them alone for short bursts of time. Chart their responses, track their progress, and always praise them upon arrival (and don’t forget the treats!). When you reward them for being good, you’re also reassuring them you will return every time.
Make new friends first. Socializing beforehand is not a requirement, but it will decrease their anxiety about seeing other dogs and people. For many dogs, the experience of socialization and playtime with other pets and new people is pleasant. However, you do not know how your dog could react if you have not yet socialized them.
What Are Nervousness Reactions?
Pets react to stressors very differently depending on whether or not you are with them. As a result, many owners aren’t aware of how their pets commonly behave in specific scenarios. By observing how they react under stress with you, it can give boarders some insight into their range of behaviors and help them anticipate potential issues for when you are away.
When we know more about how your pet reacts, we can properly board them with the utmost care. Knowing more also helps us calm your pet as they acclimate to their surroundings – we never want to cause your pet undue stress. Letting us know how your pet behaves will ensure we’re prepared for whatever situation arises.
To help your pet adapt to your absence, pay attention to their behaviors when they’re anxious. Tracking key behaviors to communicate to the professionals caring for your pet will help ensure your pet gets the support they need from the moment they enter the doors. If you’re not sure where to start, look for common stress responses and their triggers:
- Blanket burrowing or digging
- Hiding behind or under furniture
- Escaping from crates or lodging
- Chewing items other than designated toys
- Incessant paw licking or gnawing
- Displays of timidity or shrinking away
How To Support Overstimulated Pets?
Even with top-tier accommodations, boarding facilities can be uncomfortably unfamiliar to pets who live in quiet environments. Boarding is different from the private space they have grown accustomed to at home. To best support your pet in a new environment, we cater specifically to their needs by also offering a range of boarding options and extra activities.
Private suites that allow your dog peace of mind, which can help to soothe their nerves. No rowdy group playtime and less noise to keep them cool and calm. Private accomodations ensure that their needs are met and their comfort level is high.
In-lodging carriers to help cats acclimate to their surroundings at their own pace. Cats like to hide when they’re stressed. Carriers and small tents to help make your cat feel comfortable without making them too exposed (a major kitty comfort no-no).
Covered lodging can help dogs and cats separate from the excitement and just relax. Juts like humans, cats or dogs sometimes need time away from it all to reset and recharge. We can cover their lodging to help it feel even more private and separated from the hustle and bustle in the rest of the kennel.
How Can I Provide Pets With Comfort Items?
While it can usually be beneficial to pack along with the toys or bedding that your pet is used to, we cannot accept any of these items in our facility at this time. Due to the risk of disease and for the safety of all pets, we have to prohibit any outside toys, dishes, or bedding. Your pet’s safety and comfort are always at the top of our list.
However, we provide cozy bedding, bowls and toys to all pets lodging with us. Please let us know if you have any specific requests that will help them be more comfortable. The practice of recreating a similar environment helps make the transition from your home to our accommodations as smooth as possible.
Because we know that anxiety comes from the human side of things, too — our team is happy to provide you with pictures and updates for your pet at all hours, whenever you need to feel reassured. We get it.
Ready To Board?
If you need reliable luxury accommodations for your dog or cat to stay in while you’re traveling, use our reservation system today to ensure your pet is boarded properly. No amount of nervous energy is too much for our professional team and our focus is on providing the utmost attention to the comfort and care of your pet.