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How to reduce thunderstorm induced stress and anxiety in your pet

While not every dog or cat is afraid of thunderstorms, it is definitely not out of the ordinary for pets to become nervous and scared when theythunderstorm hear the roar of thunder. If you have a puppy or kitten, you may not know whether or not your pet has this phobia since most pets develop this fear between the ages of two and four years old. Unfortunately, your dog or cat could become more anxious as they get older as thunderstorm fear can worsen as dogs and cats age. Since the Nashville area frequently experiences thunderstorms during the spring and summer months, our staff at 5 Points Animal Hospital would like to share a few tips to help ease the anxiety storms can bring to your pet.

Provide a safe place inside your home.

Provide your pet with space where they feel comfortable and safe. If your pet sleeps in a crate or spends time in a crate while you are not home, your pet may feel comforted by being in their crate. If you have a wire crate, try covering it with a sheet or towel to make it more like a haven for your dog or cat. Don’t forget to put your pet’s favorite items, such as toys and bedding, as well as food and water bowls, in the space.

Provide a distraction for your pet.

While not every pet will respond to play during thunderstorms, you can try to play with your pet to engage them and distract them from the weather outside. Be sure to use their favorite toys and to give your pet their preferred treats when you play. 5 Points Animal Hospital also recommends that you play soothing and calming music such as “Through A Dog’s Ear” or “Through A Cat’s Ear” to help reduce the stress and anxiety caused by loud crashes of thunder and lightning.

Use research-based products to reduce stress and anxiety.

Studies have proven that dogs can be calmed during thunderstorms by using the baby swaddling principle. A tight garment, such as the Thundershirt, can give your pet a sense of comfort by providing mild pressure to the body.

Pheromone therapy with products such as Feliway and Adaptil can also be helpful in reducing storm anxiety.

For more advice or questions on how to reduce your pet’s storm anxiety call 5 Points Animal Hospital at 615-750-2377. We are happy to discuss your pet’s specific needs and ways that we can help your pet be more relaxed and comfortable during thunderstorms

How Your Pet Benefits Your Health

Spending time cuddling on your couch with your pet is a sure way to improve your mood, so you already know how much your dog or cat benefits your mental and emotional wellbeing. You might be surprised to learn that owning a pet can also be quite beneficial to your physical health. According to Health Magazine, the bond and companionship you have with your pet can reduce stress, lower your risk of certain illnesses and diseases, and boost your levels of fitness. At 5 Points Animal Hospital, we love taking good care of pets in the East Nashville area. We also love teaching their human companions about important health practices, which is why we would like to tell you more about how your pet benefits your health.

Reduce Stress

In today’s fast-paced world, people are always looking for easy ways to deal with stress. One of the best ways to lower the amount of stress in your life is surprisingly simple. According to Rebecca A. Johnson, the director of the Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, all you have to do is to be in the same room as your dog or cat. Just looking at your pet is enough to cause the release of the neurochemical, oxytocin, which can make you feel happy. This also will decrease your levels of cortisol, which is known as the “stress” hormone.

Lower Cardiovascular Disease Risk

Not only does spending time with your pet reduce your levels of stress, but it also lowers both your blood pressure and your cholesterol levels. Studies have shown that pet owners typically have lower triglyceride levels than people who do not have a cat or dog. This benefits men, in particular. After conducting several studies of the effects of owning a pet on the risk of cardiovascular disease, the American Heart Association (AHA) found that it does much more than reduce this risk. They also found an increased survival rate among patients with cats and dogs.

Improves Fitness Levels

Owning a dog gives you a very important reason to be more active since you should give him or her plenty of opportunities for exercise, such as going on daily walks. When you walk with your dog, you also have the tendency to spend more time exercising. Research has proven that, on average, dog owners walk twice as long every week than people who do not have dogs. Getting fit with your dog is not just limited to walking as you have many options, such as swimming, running, and playing Frisbee Golf to boost your (and your dog’s) physical fitness levels.

Being a good pet owner can help both you and your pet feel happier and healthier. To make sure your cat or dog is in perfect health, contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital to schedule an appointment for a wellness exam. Our team of veterinary professionals are always here to help you with any of your pet needs.

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5 Points Animal Hospital | 1103 Woodland St., Nashville, TN 37206 | Click to Call Us Now