Me: Yes, but anxiety is always complicated.
And now for the longer answer…
Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness or unease typically associated with an imminent event or uncertain income. Our pets can experience anxiety for a number of reasons from changes in their routine or schedule, to moving to a new home, loud noises, visual stimuli (hats, umbrellas, wheelchairs and other apparatuses), car rides, introducing a new person or pet into their lives, when a traumatic memory is triggered, or they are forced to confront any new situation—these are mainly fear based anxieties. Separation anxiety (being apart from their humans) is one of the most common anxieties a pet can experience. Anxiety can also develop as they age and is associated with cognitive dysfunction syndrome (memory, learning, perception and awareness decline, leading to confusion and anxiety).
The comfort and feeling of well-being provided by massage helps improve mood and therefore the mental state of an anxious pet. This is important for a number of physical reasons. The mental state of an animal (or human, for that matter) affects the sympathetic nervous system. Shelter dogs, for example, experience stress symptoms including elevated heart rate and blood pressure. Massage therapy helps reduce heart rate and blood pressure, therefore reducing stress, which is important because illnesses gain a foothold when stress diminishes the body's immune system. Massage therapy reduces the physical and mental components of stress, which in turn helps the body feel balanced and rejuvenated, able to defend itself properly.
How do you know if your pet is experiencing anxiety?
Dogs experiencing anxiety may experience the following symptoms:
- Urinating or defecating in the house
- Destructive behaviour (tearing apart your upholstery, or digging for example)
- Excessive barking
- Pacing and restlessness, even trying to escape
- Repetitive, compulsive behaviours
- Try to keep you from leaving the house
Cats will often develop destructive behaviours that they have not exhibited before, such as scratching furniture or clawing at curtains. They also may:
- Not use their litter box
- Hide more than usual
- Become aggressive
- Vocalize excessively
- Have a change in appetite and/or weight
- Follow you around the house
- Become lethargic
- Vomit due to an anxious, upset tummy
Thanks for reading!
Want 50% off your next (or first) pet massage session? Email/Call/Text me with the code word ANXIETY when you book — anytime before November 5th, 2019.
Also, keep in mind that a group of three-four massages close together (no more than one week apart each) is the best way to see results quickly. I offer packages of four massages for large dogs ($216), medium/small dogs ($168) and cats ($120), which will save you 20%!
Look for my next post in the series, which deals with how massage helps pets with compensation when injury occurs, Tuesday November 5th, 2019…
Click HERE to read the next FAQ post...
And here's the Facebook Live I did for this post: