Holiday time can be stressful for pets with changes to their routine and car journeys to staycations.
As well as practical tips for making this time of year easier for them, you also might want to consider herbal stress relief for dogs.
Supplementing their diet is just one way you can help keep them calm and happy. There are herbs that are proven to help relieve stress in pets in the same way as people.
Herbal stress relief for dogs is just one way to help your pets cope with changes to their routine.
Here are our top tips for easing stress for your pets.
Know the signs of stress
It is important you can recognise when your dog is showing signs of stress.
Stretching, yawning and pacing can all be indicators that your pet is not feeling calm.
Loss of appetite and other changes in behaviour, such a losing interest in walks or forgetting toilet training can also be tell-tale signs. And of course an increase in aggression could also be an indicator that your dog is feeling stressed out.
Take advice from the experts at Blue Cross for more help, or speak to your vet if you are concerned.
Add herbal stress relief for dogs to their diet
Just like people, dogs can benefit from having supplements added to their diet.
There are many ways to introduce herbal stress relief for dogs.
Valerian is one of the most widely recognised herbal remedies for combatting stress and is perfectly safe for dogs if it’s given in the correct quantities.
If used correctly valerian is a gentle way to battle stress and this herbal stress relief for dogs can be found in PetExx Stress Less.
Tryptophan is an amino acid that helps the body make proteins and is a stress reliever. Again, used in the correct dosage this can be a safe and gentle way to help ease stress in dogs. It is also found in Stress Less.
Create a den for your dog
Many dogs enjoy having their own space, somewhere they feel safe and calm.
A crate with a blanket over the top is a good idea, or a cosy corner of your home like a space under the stairs.
Fill their den with a favourite blanket, some of their treasured toys and a bowl of fresh water.
Ensure it’s clean and tidy and encourage them to get settled. But don’t force them into an area they aren’t comfortable with. It is crucial they feel safe and relaxed in their space.
If your dog is going to stay in kennels or with a pet sitter, make sure they have a cosy den ready for their stay and if you are visiting a holiday home or staying with family, set up an area for them as soon as you arrive.
Play some music
If you are going to be leaving your dogs at home with a pet sitter or you are going to a holiday home and are concerned they might feel unsettled, music can help calm them.
Make sure the music is turned up enough to help create a calming atmosphere – but not too loud. Get your pets used to hearing music in the days and weeks leading up to any change in their routine so it feels natural to them.
Give your dog plenty of exercise
Exercise is a great way of helping your dog destress. If you are taking them on holiday with you, make sure you get out for a walk as soon as you arrive to let them stretch their legs and adjust to their new surroundings.
Just as it does for people, exercise helps reduce anxiety in your pets. And this doesn’t just mean a long walk or run, mental exercises such as brain games are also really helpful.
Invest in a puzzle bowl for mealtimes to get your dogs using their mind while they eat, or try “find it” games. So make sure you pack some familiar favourite toys and treats.
Try a calming jacket
As well as introducing herbal stress relief for dogs through supplements, a calming jacket can help your dog feel secure when they find themselves in a stressful situation.
Also know as an anxiety wrap, these garments have been shown to really help some pets on occasions like bonfire night.
A study, published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior in 2013, found 89 per cent of dog owners found that prolonged use of an anxiety wrap reduced stress levels in their dogs.
Ensure you introduce the calming jacket gradually in advance to allow your dog to adapt. Also remember, they won’t work for every pet so if your dog dislikes it then discontinue use as that could make their anxiety worse.