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How To Create a Stress-Free and Relaxing Environment For Your Animal

How To Create a Stress-Free and Relaxing Environment For Your Animal

Pets are an important part of the family so it’s only right that we make them feel at home. While they can be good fun and have great benefits for us as owners, it’s important to remember that they need space to relax too. The hustle and bustle of modern life can sometimes leave them feeling overwhelmed and anxious. Studies show that so-called ‘pandemic puppies’ may need extra care and nurturing.

The good news is that by creating a calming environment for your furry friend, you can significantly improve their well-being and make your life that little bit easier.  

Provide safe spaces

Ensuring your pet has its sanctuary to escape to is key. They need a designated safe space, a place where they can retreat and feel completely undisturbed. 

This will look different for every animal. It could be a crate for those who find comfort in enclosed spaces, or perhaps a covered bed nestled in a quiet corner. Alternatively, they might prefer a designated area with comfy blankets and plush toys. For bigger dogs, consider investing in a large dog bed that allows them to sprawl out comfortably

Photo: Unsplash

Cater to their senses

By creating a multi-sensory area, you can enhance their relaxation and make it more enjoyable. Puzzle feeders challenge dogs’ problem-solving skills and provide mental stimulation while scratching posts for cats to fulfil their natural urge to groom and mark their territory. 

For some, calming music specifically designed for animal relaxation can provide a soothing backdrop. 

Maintain a consistent routine

Just like humans, pets thrive on routine. Establishing regular feeding times, walk schedules and playtime slots can provide a sense of security and predictability.  

This consistency reduces anxiety and allows them to anticipate what’s coming next.  While some flexibility is inevitable, try to maintain a consistent daily structure as much as possible.

Minimise startling stimuli

For animals with heightened senses, loud noises or sudden movements can be very overwhelming. Try to work out what triggers your pet’s tension and take steps to minimise the impact. 

For noise sensitivity, consider using white noise machines or calming music to mask disruptive sounds. If they struggle with unfamiliar people, establish a slow and controlled introduction process, allowing them to approach new guests at their own pace while at home.

Photo by Jamie Street

Recognise signs of stress

Make sure you pay attention to your pet’s behaviour in general. Signs of stress can be subtle and vary between species. For example, excessive licking, pacing, hiding or changes in appetite can all be indicators of underlying anxiety. 

Sometimes, simple adjustments to your environment or routine can make a difference. If the stress persists, consider speaking to your vet or a qualified animal behaviourist.

Top photo by Kate Stone Matheson on Unsplash