How to Make Our Pets Feel Secure
By Indy Summers
We love our pets, they are members of our family. But there will be times when our pets will feel scared or not so comfortable in their surroundings. Perhaps they are a new addition to our home, or perhaps they have been frightened by someone they consider a stranger in the home or by a loud noise such as a thunderstorm. So, how do we help our pets feel more at ease and calm them down? Well, before we go into how to do this, we need to become aware of what types of signals our pet could be giving us that they feel this way. Believe it or not dogs and cats have their own body language that communicates whether they feel scared and as a responsible pet owner is important to know what these signs are. One thing to remember though that as with humans no two pets are alike, some dogs and cats won't be as easily scared. This can come down to breed and maybe the environment in which the pet is used to, in any case understanding all those body language signals are beneficial.
Signs that a dog is insecure
One of the main ways to tell with a dog that it is feeling scared, anxious or stressed is to look at their eyes. If the eyes seem wider with the whites of the eyes being prominent, something that is commonly known as whale eye because it resembles the eyes of a whale, then odds are the dog is being irritated by something. But the eyes are just the beginning of the signs to look out for in a dog, here are some others that could also be present.
- stiff rigid body
- stiff or tucked tail
- ears point outward or to the side
- indirect or direct eye contact
- dilated pupils of the eye
- growling or barking for no reason
Signs that a cat is insecure
Cats are a bit different than dogs in showing their fear or agitation. These sneaky little guys can just go running off immediately especially if they encounter someone they don't know. There are some signs in their body language as well to look out for when it comes to our feline companions.
- puff out fur
- eyes become bigger
- freeze up
- running and hiding
- refuse to use litter box
Cats with breathing problems benefit greatly from dust free kitty litter, and you’ll be glad to be cleaning the litter box, and not the whole room around it. So you need a good quality clumping litter box for the cat.
How to Calm a Pet
Again this will come down to the type of pet, but the first thing to always do is determine what is bothering them. In some cases, this is easy to figure out if there is a stranger in their presence or if they are stormy weather outside. Another things that will scare a pet is hearing loud voices or yelling. You don't need to even be yelling at the pet for it to bother them because the voices are being raised. Once determining the problem it is important to help put the pet at ease. Perhaps using a soothing voice, petting them gently to help soothe them. If possible take them away from the thing that is bothering them such as loud noises. Another thing that is good to do especially with a new pet is to give them time to adjust to their new surroundings if the pet doesn't want to come near you at first, just let them know you are their friend. This can be done by caring for them such feeding them, giving them water, and using a loving voice. Eventually, with love and understanding, pet will start to calm down and see you as someone who can provide them with a secure environment that they need.