Saturday, July 25, 2009

Dogs and Cats with Anxiety and Emotional Issues

Sometimes dogs and cats can have physical health issues that are rooted in emotional issues and anxiety. For example, cats can get urinary tract infections from stress. They can act nervous around strangers, jumpy from different sounds, show fear of unusual things (e.g. slippery floors, elevators), chew obsessively on the same spot, urinate outside of the litter box or act aggressively. Sometimes there may be a physical cause for this such as a a thyroid imbalance or rash or infection. But, sometimes it is just emotional anxiety. If it is just an occassional issue such as going to the veterinarian's office, then you can try Rescue Remedy which is available at most stores. But, if you have a pet with a chronic history of showing these behaviors OR a rescue pet whose background where you have limited information, the first step is to take them to your veterinarian. Be sure you have ruled out any possible health issues. For example, one client recently told me about how her dog stood right in front of her and urinated on the floor. She interpreted this to mean some type of behavioral issue as the dog was young and going through training. But, I urged her to take her to the veterinarian and sure enough, she had a raging urinary tract infection. is always best to check with your veterinarian first.

Once you have ruled out a health issue, you might want to try Psystabil. Psystabil (available on helps to rebalance your pet's emotional state and can really, really help over time. It is not like giving your pet a valium where it works instantly. Over time though, you will see your pet show an inclination to doing some of the things they were previously anxious about and just seem more content. For example, we had a rescue dog Tessie who had been cruelly locked in her cage as a breeding dog for most of her life. She was terrified of most people and refused to go into fun places like pet stores. I started giving her Psystabil and after 1 bottle, she was going more places and just seemed so much happier. It is certainly worth a try!