How do you calm your pet?

RELAXATION is the best way to calm your anxious pets, says registered veterinarian specialist in behavioural medicine Dr Jacqui Ley. 

Dr Ley said it was best to counter anxiety with calming techniques which were simplified to three broad techniques: a sit-stay look exercise, massage, and rewarding relaxed behaviour. 

The Fraser Coast is renowned for its love of our furry friends, so we want to know what you do to calm your anxious pets. 

"Pets feel anxiety in similar ways as we do. It's a normal emotion that prepares you for a negative experience," Dr Ley said. 

"It's important that any behaviour modification exercises are taught in a quiet environment before they're practised in increasingly challenging environments," she said. 

Sit-stay-look exercise. This is a simple type of exercise to use. Unlike obedience, the focus is not on the tasks of sitting, staying and looking but rather on seeing a relaxation response. So it provides a framework for relaxation to occur.

Rewarding relaxed behaviour. Whispering "good boy" every time the pet is relaxing is a simple and effective technique and easy for owners to incorporate into their busy schedules.

Massage. Long, firm, slow strokes can be a great way of relaxing pets and can be done while owners watch TV or listen to some music. Massage isn't appropriate for all pets though, especially for those who dislike being touched.


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