Things That Actually Scare Your Pets
Things That Actually Scare Your Pets Common Things That Actually Scare Your Pets, According to Veterinarians
Your furry friend is likely fearful about more than just fireworks and thunderstorms.
From treats and daily walks to belly rubs and playtime, many pet owners go out of their way to ensure their four-legged friends are living their very best lives.
Things That Actually Scare Your Pets – Since you want your pet to be happy, it can be disheartening when they feel scared or appear anxious—but knowing the warning signs, which indicate that your companion has been triggered by something, is half the battle.
“Pets show fear in a variety of ways,” says Dr. Carly Fox, a senior veterinarian at Schwarzman Animal Medical Center.
The most common signs include a crouched posture, trembling, an arched back, and pinned back ears.
While there are some obvious anxiety inducers for pets, like thunderstorms and fireworks, other triggers can be less apparent.
Things That Actually Scare Your Pets – In fact, some things that may scare your furry friend are objects they encounter in their everyday lives—or even behaviors that you and your loved ones do without noticing they cause your pet stress.
Things That Actually Scare Your Pets -Changes in Routine
Although they may seem well established in your home, pets are still sensitive to changes in the household—even minor ones.
Throwing a get-together, having a house guest, going on vacation, or any change in routine can cause our pets stress, which can lead to negative behavioral changes.
To minimize this, she recommends making sure your furry companion has a place to retreat to or a room they feel comfortable in to put them at ease.
Changes in routine should be gradual if possible.
It happens all the time: You get tired of the way your living room or bedroom is arranged, so you move a couch here or a desk there.
While it may not seem disruptive to you, it may be fearsome for your pet.
Any time furniture and décor are moved, it can be stressful for pets, so this should be done over time if possible, to allow your pet time to adjust.
She adds that moving objects or introducing things that make noise, such as fans or connected home devices, should be done gradually.
Things That Actually Scare Your Pets -Noisy Appliances
Even human ears don’t like the sound of a blender whirring or a vacuum running, so it makes sense that these loud noises can also bother animals.
The household can be full of seemingly benign everyday objects that can cause fear in our pets.
She says that loud appliances make distressing sounds that can put pets on high alert.
Appliances like vacuums may also smell strange to pets, which contributes to their feelings of fear.
Like humans, pets can experience insect phobias.
The buzzing sound flies and bees make can scare our pets, making them jump or bite in the air or at their bodies.
According to Dr. Miller, if your furry companion has a past trauma with an insect, such as being bitten by a fly or stung by a bee or wasp, they may feel especially scared when confronted with bugs.
There are several pet-safe insect repellents that can help deter pests from our pets who spend time outdoors.
Things That Actually Scare Your Pets – Loud Voices
It may come as a shock, considering our pets love when their owners excitedly greet them, but these sudden and loud exclamations can actually frighten them.
Though all animals are different when it comes to their triggers, some have an aversion to loud yelling, even sans an angry tone.
Dr. Miller says that rooting for your favorite sports team during a game or cheerily welcoming a guest into your home may scare your furry companions.
According to Dr. Fox, pets can be skeptical of certain objects, which may lead to fear and anxiety.
For example, some cats jump in the air and run away at the sight of a cucumber (and other unfamiliar stationary objects).
The seemingly exaggerated reaction is likely due to the sudden appearance of an unusual object in their environment.
Cucumbers are not common objects to cats—so the sudden appearance of one in a familiar space can scare them.
Things That Actually Scare Your Pets – Children
While it’s not uncommon for pets to be scared of strangers, they may also exhibit signs of stress and anxiety around children, too.
While Dr. Fox notes that it really depends on your companion’s personality type, children can scare pets, as they typically demonstrate inhibited behavior when approaching an animal.
This fear or apprehension can read as aggression to your pets.
Teaching your children how to safely approach a pet is important to prevent potentially dangerous interactions.
Things That Actually Scare Your Pets
Mild fears: signs may include trembling, tail-tucking, hiding, reduced activity and passive escape behaviors.
Panic: signs may include panting, pacing, active escape behavior and increased out-of-context, potentially injurious motor activity.
Sympathetic autonomic nervous system activity, including diarrhea.
Things That Actually Scare Your Pets – Anxiety in Dogs
Anxiety, meanwhile, is the anticipation of unknown or imagined future dangers.
This results in bodily reactions (known as physiologic reactions) that are normally associated with fear.
The most common behaviors are elimination (i.e., urination and/or bowel movements), destruction and excessive vocalization (i.e., barking, crying).
Pet owners may also observe excessive panting and/or pacing.
Separation anxiety is the most common specific anxiety in companion dogs.
With separation anxiety, a dog that’s left alone for a period of time exhibits anxiety or excessive distress behaviors.
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