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Dog Anxiety: What dog Owners Need to Know about an anxious dog

In the real sense, a dog should never have anything to worry about.  With humans who are dedicated to feed and take care of them, anxiety should be the last thing they should experience. We always believe anxiety is only experienced by humans where they have to worry about relationships, careers, and daily stress.

Believe it or not, dogs too become anxious. Even though they do not have to worry about paying bills or achieving specific goals in life, they can also experience some nervousness that greatly affects their behavior.

It is, therefore, important for dog owners to understand how anxiety affects their dogs because it can cause several problems for them and their dogs. A dog that is suffering from anxiety may have feeding problems, damaging the house when left home alone or even pick a fight with other dogs.

I am so certain no dog owner would want to deal with such behavioral issues. Therefore, it is essential to know the cause and how to prevent it exactly.

What causes dog anxiety?

Any behavioral change in your pet may be due to anxiety. Fear or old age-related conditions may cause it. For example, a dog can be anxious due to fear of unpleasant and unfamiliar location like a new home.

Separation anxiety is another major trigger of anxiety in dogs. Most dogs do not know how to cope with being left alone for an extended time.

Anxiety also occurs to older dogs that have congestive disorders leaving them confused and forgetful.

How do you know if your dog has anxiety?

Any sudden change in your dog’s behavior may be a result of anxiety. However, some signs will clearly show you that your dog needs some help.

Some signs may be obvious will others might not be noticeable right away. Below are some behavioral changes that show if your dog is suffering from anxiety.

  1. Destruction Behavior

An anxious dog may feel uncomfortable, especially if left alone at home. In the process, it may chew through a door trying to escape or even destroy the furniture.

  1. House Breaking issues

Housebreaking issues are commonly brought by separation anxiety. Your dog may urinate almost in every corner of the house or defecate inside the house when anxious.

  1. Repetitive Behavior

When you notice your dog pacing around the house or doing any repetitive behavior is a sign of dog anxiety. Your dog may also over groom the same body part as a result of anxiety.

  1. Aggression

You may find your dog snarling or snapping on other dogs or people when anxious. Growling and barking, with no apparent reason, is a sign of aggressive behavior.

What Natural Remedy can I Give my dog for anxiety?

When you have an anxious dog, it is possible to calm them down naturally without the use of medication or any other artificial ways. Naturally, dogs are happy when they are treated well, fed frequently, kept in a stress-free environment, and taken for walks regularly. Here are some natural remedies you could use to calm your dog.

  1. Create a safe environment for your dog

Always make sure your dog has a safe and quiet environment to retreat to. This could be a covered kennel, a closet, or a quiet bedroom. Place soft blankets or toys for them to chew to calm themselves down.

Make sure to check on your dog periodically to get to know how they are doing. The safe space will let your dog retreat and calm down whenever they are stressed.

  1. Take your dog for walks

When your dog will not settle down, and they are too anxious without a good reason, it could be a sign that your dog isn’t taken outside frequently or they are not receiving enough exercise. Puppies should at least be allowed to run about 3-4 times a day.

When you notice your dog is panting loudly or will not stop bothering you, they might be sick or need to go out. Until you get to know your dog’s behavior, any excitement behavior may indicate that your dog needs to go out or want to go to the bathroom. Unless you do not mind the messy floor, take your dog outside promptly.

  1. Socialize your dog regularly

It is normal for a dog to get excited when they meet new friends or new dogs. But, if your dog does not calm down around new faces, it means you need to increase your dog’s socialization.  Let your dog meet new people and dogs most frequently.

To successfully do this, take your dog for walks, ask permission for your dog to great other dogs they meet. When your dog behaves well, make sure to reward them with treats. Always use a clear verbal command to keep them in control.

  1. Pet and Message your dog

Petting and messaging your dog helps reduce stress and anxiety. This is a simple way of being affectionate to your dog. Message your dog gently and concentrate on pressure points like the feet, ears, and the top of the head. The messages will help soothe and calm your dog just as people do when messaged.

You need to know that dogs are social and always want contact and affection. Spend at least 30 minutes daily while petting or messaging them.

Another way you can help your dog reduce anxiety is to be calm when you around them. Make sure to speak in a soft, smooth, and calming voice as you pet them calmly and smoothly.

  1. Change your Dog’s Diet

Just like humans, dogs too need a balanced diet, and their moods can be affected by poor nutrition. Commercial dog treats have addictive ingredients, and most of the time overstimulates the dog’s system. You can choose to buy natural treats or make your own.

How do you calm a stressed dog?

 

Just like human beings, dogs too react to stress. Being clingy, acting up, or withdrawing are some of dog anxiety signs. Unlike us, dogs cannot express their anxiety verbally. Therefore, it is the responsibility of any pet owners to pay attention to their pet’s behavior and respond accordingly when they see any difference. Here are ways you can use to calm your anxious dog.

  1. Cuddling

Just like humans, pets too respond positively to touch. Cuddling is one way you can use to relieve stress, anxiety, and fear from your dog. When a dog feels like they are cut off from their human, their anxious level tends to increase. Petting and cuddling your dog may help take away some of the anxiety.

  1. Exercise

When a dog is anxious, it usually has a lot of energy that cannot be controlled. Humans are also advised to do exercises to help relieve stress. This also applies to dogs. When dogs take walks, run, or play in the park, they burn off some tension. Exercise makes the dog tired, and by the time they return home, they are calm.

Unless advised otherwise by a vet, exercise is good for you and your pet. Your dog will enjoy and appreciate the time you spend together.

  1. Calm Demeanor

Dogs always sense your emotions and feelings. If you are reacting towards their anxiety and bad behavior they show when stressed, they are going to absorb your behavior and make the situation even worse.

Take some few breaths before handling the acting out of your dog in a calm demeanor to help break the anxiety cycle between you and your dog. Just like a baby, your dog will act to the way you are behaving. Always take the lead and help them calm down slowly and patiently.

  1. Check with your Vet

When the dog’s anxiety level seems abnormal, it is essential to consult your vet. By ‘abnormal’ we mean if your dog cannot relax or calm down. Explain to the vet all the activities that showed that your dog was anxious. It does not matter if your dog does not have physical injury or illness; your vet might something that you cannot.

  1. Toys

Anxious dog training is easy, especially when you show them where to direct their negative energy. Toys are the best items to channel energy.  A good chew toy can keep your dog busy other than destroying your household and belongings.

We all know that anxiety alters the behavior of your dog. You are the best person to help your anxious dog to cope with something that is out of the norm. Your dog loves and trusts you, therefore, will want you to take the lead.

 

Trends in the Pet Food Industry

EuroMonitor has recently released a new edition of Pet Care Industry Information.

EuroMonitor has recently released a new edition of pet care industry data that provides latest insights on the dog and cat food industry performance in 2018 and key prospects through 2023. The major takeaways from the report are the trends in competition, the growth in cat ownership, continuing strong online sales growth and premiumization.

Pet food industry Competition

Pet food is a fairly concentrated industry. The top five companies account for more than 40% of global sales. This is striking and different from other Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industries. However, recently global manufacturers have been under significant pressure from new and local players.

Blue Buffalo has shown a continuous success story with a 138% growth in the last 5 years. This shows that pet owners are willing to spend more on their pet’s nutrition.

Rachel Ray has also achieved great success, and it was one of the fastest growing brands in 2017. Both these brands have been recent targets of M&A.

The developing markets also saw a rise in competition with local players stepping up their credentials by using their knowledge of local consumers and leveraging synergies with rising competition.

Cat Ownership

Recent developments in the industry have seen the rise of popularity of cats in markets all over, largely overtaking dogs’ popularity. The rise in popularity can be attributed to cats’ playful and relatively more independent nature, making them the preferred companions for fast paced, urbanised young owners.

This has also led to a rise in sales of cat treats and cat foods. The category has seen high levels of premiumisation with more nutrient rich, alternative protein and functional diets coming to the markets.

Global premium cat food sales are expected to grow by 4% in 2018 with absolute growth sales expected to reach USD 2 billion in the next 5 years. Mid-price cat food is also expected to post good growth.

Strong Online Sales Trajectory

Online retail sales has been gaining significant traction across developed and developing markets. Particularly in the United States where growth rates have been phenomenal. There has been a lot of action in the industry as Pet Smart acquired Chewy (a pure play retailer). Target and Walmart have pushed omni-channel sales and Amazon is stepping up as well.

Key motivators behind the shift to e-commerce can be attributed to price points, convenience and product selection.

Premiumisation

Premiumization has helped define and generate growth in the industry for many years, but the ways it has done so have been changing over time.

New, locally and sustainably sourced ingredients are playing an important role in adapting to consumers’ demands. The rise in healthy living lifestyles of the owners has percolated to the way they interact with their pets, especially the way they feed them.

Globally, premium dog and cat food products have experienced strong growth with 25% growth in value over the last five years and has an expected 4% CAGR for the next 5 years, according to Euromonitor International’s latest estimates.

How To Handle Pet Stress During The Holidays

The holidays are here and in full swing, which means that even more stress has set in for us pet owners.  But, what most owners do not realize is that their pets feel and experience the stress of the holidays as well.

Add in the fact that you are gone more often, for holiday parties and visiting family, and you can easily see that the holidays are just as rough on our furry friends than on us, if not even more so.

However, there are a few simple signs that you can look out for that will clue you into the possibility that your pet is indeed suffering from holiday-induced stress.  We will take a look at a few of them below.

One sure fire indicator that your pet is not feeling themselves is that of a reduction or loss of appetite.  Most breeds are very tuned into their owners.  And as such, when the owner is stressed the pet picks up on this and in turn becomes stressed themselves.  Whether the stress causes an uneasy or upset stomach or just an overall uneasiness, reduction or loss of appetite completely can result.

Another sign of your pet being stressed may present in the form of lip licking and yawning  When dogs become anxious they will exhibit this feeling outwardly in the form of lip licking.  It is their version of a nervous tick so to say.  They need a means to outwardly express their inward stress, and lip licking is the most common method.  Yawning is another possible outward expression they may use as well.

The next sign that your pet may be having holiday stress is that of them sticking to you like Velcro.  When your pet is shadowing your every move, and staying as close to you as possible at all times, this is them telling you they are stressed and anxious about something.  Many pet owners agree that this type of behavior is seen more during the holidays than most any other time of the year.  Your pet is wanting to keep close because although they are stressed, they feel that being close to you that everything will be alright.  That you will keep them safe and make sure that nothing will hurt or harm them.

Finally, one of the most widely observed signs of stress in pets is exhibited with shaking and shivering.  You may think it is because your pet is cold, but in actuality, that is most probably not the case.  When a pet becomes anxious, nervous, or stressed, much like people do they have a cross between a panic attack and an anxiety attack.  And again, like us humans that can manifest as physical shivering or shaking.

As with any change in your pets attitude or demeanor, it is best to check with a vet to make sure there are no underlying medical problems present.  If none are found, then the most probable cause for the change in behavior is stress.  Keep in mind that just because our companions have fur, feathers, or scales doesn’t mean that they won’t be affected to some point with holiday stress.

Factors Driving Trends in the Pet Care Industry

Factors Driving Trends in the Pet Care Industry

The changing dynamics of the pet care industry and factors driving them.

How we chose to spend time with, interact with and care for our pets has seen a whirlwind of change in the recent past. The growth in the pet care industry has been strong and it is expected to expand stably in the future. Here are some factors that are shaping the trends in the industry.

  1. Humanization of Pets

Pets are now a part of the family and less & less people are buying pets for functional usages such as guard dogs. A poll conducted by Fortune states that more than 75% of the people surveyed consider ‘pets as a beloved member of the family’.

The closeness of the relationship means a demand for ‘human grade’ products for the pets. The industry has already obliged. The Casper dog mattresses are one such product.

  1. Sustainability

The people’s inclination towards products that promote and advocate transparency and sustainability is palpable. The new generation of pet owners are ready to pay more for eco-friendly, sustainable and / or naturally sourced products.

4 Legger shampoo for dogs understands this very well and is not shy of advertising all such labels – ‘All Natural’, ‘Biodegradable’, ‘Vegan’, ‘Sustainable Ingredients’ and many more.

  1. Technology

Technology has taken over andhas become an integral part of our lives. Now it is doing the same for our pets. A whole gamut of tech-products for pets is on offer – activity trackers, innovative tech-based pet toys and remote feeders. A number of pet care startups have cropped up as well that offer everything from stay for your pets, a microbiome examination for your pet, walking services and whatnot.

  1. Premiumisation

Premiumisation is about elevating how we treat our pets. It is about creating the bridge between luxury and mass market. Premium products for pets are now driving strategies of growth for industry players. Age and breed segmentations have been key to achieving this.

Consumers are seeking out products that are niche. These include products that offer enhanced healthcare and dietary practice. Natural, organic and minimally processed are tags that command value in the pet food category. The pet owners dietary preferences are also observed to convert into demand for pet products which are gluten-free, grass-fed and cage-free protein sources.

However, price continues to be an important factor. People wish to feed their pets and care for them with good-quality products, but they would prefer if they could do it without spending too much.

  1. E-Commerce vs Brick & Mortar

While e-commerce has certainly overtook brick & mortar in certain areas of pet care, offline stores continue to dominate in veterinary care and pet grooming.

As an effect of the humanization aspect there has been a tendency to seek out newer and better services. This has led to a demand for speciality pet services like training, pet sitting and pet friendly travel, which is being captured by e-commerce.

Therefore, offline stores have realized that it is important to create experiences for the pets as well as pet owners.