Fears, Phobias and Anxieties

In: Advice Sheets On: Monday, October 10, 2016


Dogs and cats have anxieties and fears. Those may not be the same as our human anxieties, but they cause stress and physical reactions just the same.


When they are anxious, pets may engage in repetitive or displacement behaviors to relieve their stress.  Some dog anxiety behaviours may lead to property destruction, may cause us harm, or may simply be undesirable to our human sensibilities. This may include:

 - Non-stop barking.
 - Chewing up furniture, walls, shoes, garbage, and anything else in sight.
 - Poohing and peeing in the house or other confined area.
 - Eating his own pooh.
 - Aggression toward people or other animals.


Punishment or aversive techniques will do little to stop these anxious dog behaviours in the long-run, because punishment does not address the source of the problem, which is our dog’s or cat’s anxiety


Symptoms and types of anxiety in dogs and cats

 - Mild fears: signs may include trembling, tail tucked, withdrawal, hiding, reduced activity, and passive escape behaviours
 - Panic: signs may include active escape behaviour, and increased, out-of-context, potentially injurious motor activity
 - Classic signs of sympathetic autonomic nervous system activity, including diarrhoea
 - Anxieties: lesions secondary to anxious behaviour (such as licking and biting at the self) 


Causes of fear and anxiety in dogs and cats

 - Any illness or painful physical condition increases anxiety and contributes to the development of fears, phobias, and anxieties
 - Ageing changes associated with nervous system changes; infectious disease (primarily viral infections in the central nervous system), and toxic conditions, such as lead poisoning, may lead to behavioural problems, including fears, phobias, and anxieties
 - Fear from a terrible experience; they may have been forced into an unfamiliar and frightening experience
 - Dogs that are deprived of social and environmental exposure until 14 weeks of age may become habitually fearful
 - Phobias and panic may have a history of inability to escape or get away from the stimulus causing the phobia and panic, such as being locked in crate
 - Separation anxiety: history of abandonment, multiple owners, rehoming. 


At Phyto Companion we have developed a number of natural remedies to help improve wellbeing of your pet: 

Phyto Calm: this is our Anti-Stress formula of herbs and ingredients is intended to calm hyperactive, nervous, anxious and often agitated animals naturally.  It will also help improve many behavioural problems soothing gently the most stressed animals. 



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