Thursday, April 12, 2012

6 Relaxing Tips for Your Pet

Do you need to help your pet relax? Learn some personal tricks to help wine down Fluffy if he's has been stressed out lately.

1.       Talk to Coco in a calm, happy voice.
Imagine your best human friend came to you in tears. What’s one of the first things you’d do to help them chill out? You probably wouldn’t yell at them and call them bad for getting upset, right?!
Well, don’t do this to Coco, either. When she’s upset, talk to her in a soothing, cheerful voice. If she’s scared, tell her she’s a good girl and everything will be OK. Even if she doesn’t really understand your words, she’ll understand your tone.

2.       Make sure you are relaxed.
If you’re tense and worried all the time, is it any wonder Sadie is, too? Pets seem to be able to pick up on how their owners are feeling. Next time you notice Sadie acting scared, take a deep breath, count to 10, and calm yourself down first.

3.       Give Jen a pet massage.
Little Jen might love massages as much as you do!  According to massage therapist and blogger Deb Cascio, pet massage has been around since the days of the ancient Egyptians.
Start by petting Buster lightly so you don’t scare him. Then, apply soft pressure, using long and relaxing strokes. Move along the natural shape of his body.

Not only will a massage calm Lucy down, but it will boost her circulation and strengthen her bond with you. To find out more about pet massage, check out amtil.com, a listing for animal massage and therapies, or iaath.com, the website of the Alliance of Animal Therapists and Healers.

4.       Play classical music for Spot.
According to Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine, classical music helps pets relax. This trick is so useful that they even recommend it to shelters, although pets should still have quiet time at night.
Kitty might enjoy listening to recordings of birds, according to Cornell experts.

5.       Walk Charlie outside.
Even if you think of Charlie as your baby, he’s still an animal, so it’s natural for him to like spending time outside. Sometimes being really bored is stressful for pets.
“But wait,” you say, “Charlie is my pet cat!”
Well, Charlie might be a rabbit, ferret, rat, mouse, guinea pig, or chinchilla, but you can still take him outside with the right supplies.

Many pet stores, such as PETCO, offer small body harnesses for your tiny friends. Online sellers on websites such as Etsy.com also make harnesses for these special pets. And pet goods providers such as Marshall Farms offer playpens that can be set up in a supervised outdoor area, such as your front porch.
Even if Charlie is close to the size of a miniature or toy dog, please don’t use a dog leash with him. Small pets have delicate necks.

This author’s first cat got his leash stuck in a spinning water sprinkler once. He died from internal trauma. This could have been prevented if he had been wearing a body harness instead.

6.       Give Chie healthy treats.
Does a snack help you feel better when you’re on edge? Little Chie is the same way. Giving her a treat once in a while can cheer her up.

Just make sure you give treats that are right for your pet. In general, animals shouldn’t have anything with leftover bones, raw meat, caffeine, alcohol, candy, gum, chocolate, lots of sugar, or lots of salt, according to WebMD.com.

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Bad treats for Fido include avocados, macadamia nuts, peaches, plums, and persimmons.
Bad treats for Tiger include liver and large amounts of tuna. That’s right, tuna can be bad for him, because too much could cause mercury poisoning!
Neither of them should have raw eggs, yeast dough, milk, ice cream, dairy products, grapes, raisins, onions, chives, or garlic.
It’s clear that using these tips doesn’t have to be costly. The most important thing is giving Sassy the attention she needs to stay emotionally healthy. Remember, when pets are happy, pet parents are happy, too.

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