May 08, 2024

Can you spot this secret sign of anxiety?

Can you spot this secret sign of anxiety?
Dr. Chris Brown

For both dogs and cats, it’s their most common health concern. But dogs and cats can be incredibly skilled at hiding the signs of anxiety and stress.

So I thought I’d help you step inside their mind and decode the messages they’re actually sending us every single day. So here are the signs they’re struggling...


The Obvious Warnings:

Barking (or howling): Your neighbours will usually be quick to share this one. That high pitched repetitive barking is a classic sign of separation anxiety while howling is an instinctive way of reaching out to other furry brothers and sisters to try and ease that loneliness.

Destruction: The scratches on the door frame, the chewed up shoes or even the cushion that’s been shredded into a snow storm. These are all signs they’re not coping when you’re out of the house.


The Secret Signs:

Going off their food (or bringing it back up): This seems to surprise a lot of pet parents. But coming home to either a full bowl of food or a rather spectacular vomit are both big anxiety warning signs. It's when the thought of missing you actually makes them physically (and emotionally) sick... 

The wet patch: Often discovered a few hours after the incident, this toilet accident often gives a clue as to their frantic and stressed state when it happened. Calm dogs and cats control their bladder, anxious pets often don’t.

The side eye: This quirky look when you get home might look cheeky, but it really says ‘I’m not proud of how I acted when you were gone’. It implies some quite significant worrying has been happening.

The yawn: This is a big surprise. But that yawn often doesn’t mean they’re tired. It means they’re caught in a moment of inner conflict. So if it’s just before you leave the house for work, it means they’re worried about being left alone.


So what can you do?


STEP ONE: Exercise is key!

This not only gets the endorphins flowing but also lowers their blood pressure and anxiety levels.


STEP TWO: Help them chew

It’s their instinctive way to calm themselves and self-soothe. So make sure you provide some toys or treats with different textures they can slowly work through to help occupy that mind. 

STEP THREE: Bring calm to the chaos

Some really significant progress has been made in supplements recently. My go-to is L-theanine, which brings the calm to being separated, to thunderstorms and even reduces reactive barking. You’ll find L-theanine (and chamomile) in my Drool Calm + Collected treats. 


Calm + Collected
Calm + Collected

Calm + Collected Cat
Calm + Collected Cat

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