Most of us are affected by stress in our day–to–day lives. Stress can come from a whole host of different sources, like sitting in traffic, paying bills, school work, laundry or even keeping up with social media. Even something as simple as planning, preparing and cleaning up after a meal can be stressful to some. The list is endless. What we don’t realize is how stress affects our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. Constant stress keeps our internal survival system (the fight or flight system) on high alert and taxes our immune system.
Many pet owners don’t realize that their pets experience stress, as well. Events that would never occur to us as stressful can be difficult for our pets to handle. One of the most common factors of stress in pets is the anxiety of waiting for mom or dad to return home from an absence. Even though we are certain our pets can tell time, particularly at breakfast or dinner time, an absence of five or ten minutes can seem like an eternity to our pets when they sit at the window or door, watching for our return. Seeing us pack for a trip or any other interruption to their norm can throw our pets out of their comfort zone. Stress affects the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health of our pets, just as it affects us.
So, we know about stress for us and our pets but what can we do to help reduce it? What about trying something different? Referred to as CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) there is an abundance of healing modalities available for humans and pets that are commonly unknown. Below is a list of CAMs that are intended to help reduce stress and increase relaxation. When considering the use of one of more of these modalities, be sure to do your homework to find a trained practitioner.
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong
Knowing the factors that cause you stress can help in determining what CAMs may help. You can learn more about CAMs for yourself at https://nccih.nih.gov/research/statistics/2007/camsurvey_fs1.htm and CAMs for your pets at https://pets.webmd.com/features/complementary-and-alternative-medicine-for-pets#1. Be sure to consult your physician or your veterinarian before trying any type of CAM.