TAKE A WALK
Like their human counterparts, animals need exercise to produce stress-reducing endorphins in the brain. Try a long walk, game of fetch, or engaging your cat with a wandstyle toy — the activity will boost their mood (and yours!). In addition to its calming benefits, exercise also helps maintain strong bones, reverses obesity, pumps toxins out of the body and provides valuable bonding time for you and your pet.
Putting a calming jacket or shirt on your pet is akin to swaddling an infant: It applies a gentle, constant pressure that feels like a hug. “Their job is to squeeze,” says veterinarian Amy Learn, who suggests spraying the shirt or jacket with “dogappeasing” pheromones, like ThunderEase Calming Spray ($19.95, thundershirt.com), for the best results.
TRY A MASSAGE
Animals love the human touch, and a gentle massage can alleviate muscle tension and anxiety. Start at your pet’s neck and work downwards with long, even strokes. If you can, keep one hand on your pet while the other works to massage.
Creating a relaxing environment for your pet makes them less likely to have stressful reactions. Try a calming bed with a raised rim that gives a sense of security while providing head and neck support.
The Original Calming Shag Vegan Fur Donut Cuddler ($34.95, bestfriendsbysheri.com) is as comfy as it looks!
PLAY IT AGAIN
Research has shown that playing soft classical and harp music for your furry friends helps reduce anxiety. Just stay away from tunes with harsh, surprising sounds.