With summer in full swing we can enjoy warmer weather, picnics in the park, BBQ’s and lots of holidays and family getaways, of course all made better with your canine or feline companion by your side. Although this season is full of sun and smiles it can also be a stressful time for our pets, with lots of busy and new surroundings.
This summer Lintbells, manufacturers of premium natural pet supplements, has launched its “Don’t Fret Pet” campaign to raise awareness among pet owners of the possible signs their furry friend is feeling stressed or anxious, and how best to deal with this.
Teaming up with in-house veterinary professionals, Lintbells is encouraging owners to “P.E.E.P” at their pets to make sure they spot any possible signs of stress:
P = Posture – Is your pet hunched, tense, cowering or defensive?
E = Eyes – Are their eyes wide, strained or pupils dilated?
E = Ears – Does it look like their ears are flattened or pinned back?
P = Position – Is your pet turning away, hiding or fleeing/freezing?
If you do spot any of these signs in your dog or cat there is a high chance they are feeling stressed.
One of the biggest causes of anxiety in pets can be travel, and with holidays at the top of the agenda throughout the summer Lintbells is offering a few top tips to pet owners to ensure happy travels with their four-legged friends.
Research the rules of the road
If you’ve got a long car journey planned this summer, it’s important to ensure your travel is safe and legal for your pet. Rule 58 of the Highway Code states that dogs or other animals need to be suitably restrained so they cannot distract you whilst driving, by using either a seat belt harness, pet carrier, cage or guard, whatever you think is best for your animal.
Plan your route
Just likes us, our pets can get uncomfortable if they are in a car for a long period of time. Make sure you plan in enough stops throughout your journey, so they can get out and stretch their legs and take a comfort break, to avoid any accidents in the car. Also allow enough time to drive safely and smoothly to reduce the chance of travel sickness.
It goes without saying that you should never leave your pet in a hot car, so make sure you stop at places where you are able to take them with you, plus they will need to stretch their legs. Also, during the journey remember to keep the windows open just slightly to allow cool air to flow through the car.
Make sure you are well prepared ahead of a long journey and have enough supplies stocked up for your pet. These include lots of water, food and bowls for them to easily drink and eat from when you take a break. Also remember to pack their favourite blanket or bed for them to curl up on, as this will be familiar and help them to relax if they are feeling nervous.
If you are worried or concerned that your pet is likely to experience stress or spot any of the P.E.E.P signs ahead of your journey, or at any point throughout the summer, there are several things you can do. These including identifying the source and trigger of your pet’s fear and avoiding these where possible, or you can try a calming supplement such as YuCALM Dog or YuCALM Cat from Lintbells at least three weeks in advance of a long journey or holiday, or as a natural long term aid for pets prone to anxiety. We always recommend speaking to your vet or a Clinical Animal Behaviourist as well to devise a practical plan to help your pet.
If you do spot any unusual changes in their behaviour or anything out of character always remember to speak to your vet to rule out any underlying conditions