As a natural healing coach, the top two things I’m asked by pet parents is what to feed their pets and how to address their pet’s anxiety. With July being National Lost Pet Prevention Month and with the Fourth of July here again, it’s a great time to talk about anxiety in pets and how to naturally heal it.
Anxiety has been the cause of many dangers for pets and aggravation for pet parents. From at-risk runaway dogs and cats, spooked by thunderstorms, fireworks or other loud noises, to home destroyers, over-vocalizers and inappropriate eliminators; anxiety is that one pervasive condition that both breaks your heart to see and can break the bank to try to fix.
Over the years, I’ve discovered tips and practices that help with anxiety, that either most pet parents didn’t realize played a part or had outright never heard of. I’m going to share them with you, and you’ll be surprised at how certain, easy to do changes, can make a world of difference for you and your pet.
FIRST, WHAT CAUSES ANXIETY?
There’s a small laundry list of possible causes for anxious pets. Did you know certain breeds can be predisposed to anxiety, genetically? A fascinating study about fearfulness, done at the University of Helsinki recently, found that Cairn Terriers were among the most fearful breeds and Chinese Cresteds were among the least. Welsh Corgi Pembroke’s expressed a lot of noise sensitivity while Miniature Schnauzers, Chihuahuas and Labs were more fearful of unfamiliar surfaces, but not so much noise. Does your dog fall into any of these categories?
Diet, and the inflammation it can cause, contributes to chronic anxiety, as can past trauma or the pets’ current environment. Sudden, age-related anxiety can develop in seniors, with pets becoming anxious over feeling disoriented.
If your pet has prescribed medications or upcoming vaccinations, keeping a log of when they were administered can assist in conversations with their veterinary team. A log can also provide a "big picture" perspective for any possible adverse reactions or physical/behavioral changes. Regular and thorough conversations with veterinarians providing care about any questions or concerns regarding what's administered or recommended is a helpful tool for Pet Parents.
Did you know, Pet Parents who have an activated PetHub tag and account can add medical records to their pet's account for easy access? It's a helpful tool that doesn't require searching for paperwork later on when it's needed.
Luckily, there are ways to address all of these causes, and that’s what we’re going to tackle here.
Diet is the single-most important factor in having a calm, healthy, longer-living animal. Diets high in carbs, which rapidly digest into simple sugars creating a spike in the body, leads to a spike in a pet’s feelings of stress and anxiety.
Higher carb diets and diets with low nutritional value like dry foods, canned food and dehydrated foods, create inflammation in the body, its reaction to the imbalance caused by a lack of usable nutrients or the imbalanced gut microbiome it creates. Inflammation, which when appropriate, aids the body in fighting off unwanted bacterial, viral or parasitic invaders, if it becomes chronic, leads to a weakened immune system, conditions developing and increased levels of anxiety in your pet.
Feeding a fresh food diet, including a wide variety of raw or gently seared meats, organ meats and plant-based meals (organic fruits and veggies) means your dog or cat’s body is getting living food it can immediately use to nourish itself and keep its immune system strong. A strong immune system means vibrant, good health, which means a happy, calmer pup or kitty.
This elegant, close to 300-year-old form of medicine was discovered by doctor/scientist, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann. It is energy medicine and when the energy of a particular homeopathic remedy is well-matched with the energy of the illness or condition being experienced by the individual animal, those symptoms begin to disappear, like magic.
Anxiety has been successfully treated through homeopathy for centuries and our pets are no exception. If your dog or cat gets freaked out going to the vet, trying a few doses of Aconitum napellus (more commonly known as Aconite), starting an hour or two prior to the visit, can make all the difference in the world.
Here is a list of common homeopathic remedies for anxiety in dogs & cats:
- Aconitum: Fear and restlessness following a frightening event, including a frightening experience at the vet or groomer’s.
- Argentum nitricum: Anticipatory anxiety, often with trembling and loose bowels.
- Belladonna: Extreme fear with dilated pupils and aggressive behavior. This is the classic picture of a feral cat caught in a trap, or an agitated animal crouched in the corner of a room or an animal carrier.
- Ignatia: Hypersensitivity, muscle twitches and moodiness. The animal may have a history of recent grief, loss or rehoming. These animals may sigh or whine a lot, and they can be irritable.
- Lachesis: Restless, sensitive to all stimuli, talkative and jealous. Some animals, especially dominant ones, behave like this with a new addition (animal or human) to the household.
- Natrum muriaticum: Moody outbursts, depressed and withdrawn. The animals don’t play well and often have a history of rehoming or loss.
- Nux vomica: Impatient, fearful and sensitive to stimuli. These animals may be the boss of the house in many situations, bullying the other animals and being demanding of people; yet a thunderstorm or a strange package in the house can cause them to tremble.
- Staphysagria: Gentle animals with angry or fearful outbursts. They are typically the low animal on the totem pole that wouldn’t hurt a fly, so their outburst is all the more surprising
- Pulsatilla: dogs with a mild, gentle, yielding disposition who are changeable in their moods like they can’t make up their minds regarding what they want. They tend to be contradictory and prefer the open air and their symptoms could be ever changing, too.
If your pet has chronic anxiety, have a homeopathic vet or practitioner take his or her case and prescribe a remedy based on your individual pets’ symptoms. This can be a great way to heal the anxiety for good.
If you suspect your pet may have anxiety due to vaccinations, homeopathy can help here, as well. This condition is called vaccinosis in homeopathy and the remedy, Thuja is a good one to address this when it comes to general vaccine vaccinosis. With rabies vaccines, Belladonna may be a good remedy to use. As with any medicine or supplement, consulting a homeopathic veterinarian is an important first step in determining the best course of action for your pet and their symptoms.
There is a specific way to give a homeopathic remedy:
- Tap 2 pellets into the cap; don’t touch the pellets as this can neutralize the medicine
- Toss the 2 pellets into a half glass of filtered water
- Stir the mixture briskly with a clean spoon 10 times prior to each dose
- Give your dog or cat a half teaspoon of the liquid
- For acute anxiety, like going to the vet, a thunderstorm, fireworks, give a dose every 30 minutes to 1 hour for 3-4 doses and then reassess behavior
- Never continue to give a remedy like you would a pharmaceutical. As behavior improves, wean off.
- If behavior doesn’t improve after four doses, it is probably the wrong remedy for that particular animal.
It’s important to know that a deeper understanding of choosing remedies, of potency and dosing schedule depends on the individual animal, the symptoms they are exhibiting and the severity of the anxiety. Please either consult a homeopathic vet or practitioner.
3) THE AO SCANNER
We are all made up of energy, as are our pets and everything around us. Each organ, muscle, nerve, tissue in our pets’ bodies vibrates on its own frequency and, sometimes, frequencies get out of balance, causing anxiety or other symptoms.
The AO Scanner is an ingenious machine that has been programmed with over 120,000 specialized frequencies that match those in ours and our pets’ bodies. This method of scanning and optimizing frequencies was discovered in the 1940’s by Nikolai Tesla and Albert Einstein and has since been perfected.
When your pet gets a scan, the machine reads each frequency, and determines which are out of balance and then attempts to rebalance them. Most often it succeeds, and the pet will feel better. But, if you see certain frequencies that continue to stay out of balance, for several scans, this is an indicator to address a potentially developing problem. After each scan, a report shows which of your pet’s body parts, including its chakras, were out-of-balance and what that can affect in your pet, over time, should they remain chronically out-of-balance. I scan my dogs often, as well as myself, and it’s made a big difference in our lives. For more info on the AO Scanner, where to get one, go here.
4) CARBON 60
If you give one supplement to your animals, make it one that addresses the torrent of toxicity your pets come into contact with everyday. The cumulative effect of this, because the body can neutralize just so much oxidative stress before it is overloaded, is inflammation along with physical and mental symptoms. Anxiety is one of the fallouts of increased toxicity in the body.
The supplement I’ve found that neutralizes free radicals (or oxidative stress) 172 – 270 times better than our best-known antioxidants like Vitamin C and E, is called Carbon 60 or C60, for short. I’ve researched C60 with the scientist who discovered its health benefits, Max Champie, who cured his 8 year-old Chiweenie, Chloe, of severe heart disease using C60 and a plant-based diet. Max’s C60 is formulated with Black Seed Oil and Curcumin, both are powerful anti-inflammatories and antioxidants. I take C60 and my dogs take it and it has made a difference in their behavior and has reversed conditions like itching and stomach issues. For more info on C60, go here.
5) EXERCISE/MENTAL STIMULATION
This solution will come as no surprise to anyone. The more tired you are, the less energy you have to put into feeling anxious. A well exercised dog and a well stimulated cat are happy campers. I used to live in New York City and knew a man who started one of the first natural pet stores in the country. His name was Phil, and the store was Whiskers in the East Village. Every weekend, there was a line down the block of pet parents wanting to ask Phil questions about how to solve this or that in their pets. I’ll never forget him telling me that my dog must get at least two good, brisk 45-minute walks every day to make sure they were tired enough to be calm and healthy. And, if it was too cold or hot outside or the weather was inclement, he’d say run her up and down the apartment building steps. Now, that wasn’t too much fun, but Phil had a point. Find a way to exercise your dog more and give your cat toys and runs that mentally stimulate her, and you’ll notice a difference in behavior.
Anxiety is the unwanted lodger who just won’t leave. But, if you know what to do and make the environment inhospitable, that unwanted guest will get up and go. I hope these tips give you some insight as to causes and fixes for the condition in our pets we hate to see. Start preparing now if you have a pet who gets anxious and fearful with loud noises. Empowering ourselves to know how to heal naturally is the greatest gift we can give them for a longer, healthier life.
By: Jody Miller-Young
A 30+ year homeopathic healer in her personal life, Jody helps pet parents learn how to naturally and holistically avoid and address illness in their pets. Jody empowers pet parents with gentle, powerful tools to avoid drugs when they can and help extend the lives of their best friends. Miller-Young is a Certified Pet Homeopathic Educator and her program, The 3 Paths: The Journey to Thriving Pets In A Toxic World, is offered a couple of times a year. Stay tuned on her site, for dates for the next presentation. She also currently has a podcast called The Hound Healer on Pet Life Radio, which is the destination for pet parents wanting tips and expert interviews about natural healing for their pets.