Is your pet struggling to cope with modern life?

Cats and dogs react to stressful situations in a variety of different ways. Sometimes they are very noticeable, others may be less so, when perhaps we think or say to others “they don’t look themselves”.

Any change from their normal environment could result in them not managing to adapt.

Signs that may indicate that your pet isn’t coping include:

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Altered social interactions
  • Inappropriate elimination
  • Excessive vocalisation

The behaviours listed here may also be a sign of a medical condition, therefore it would be wise to discuss these changes with your veterinary surgeon, who will be able to advise you as to the appropriate course of action.

What can you do to help?

Recommendations for dogs

Start

  • Teaching appropriate behavioural responses such as toileting in appropriate places, by encouraging and praising the behaviour when the dog/puppy toilets in the desired area and IGNORING the behaviour when it toilets in an inappropriate place.
  • Using more hand signals and fewer words to improve communication cues.
  • Creating a safe resting place, somewhere where they will not be disturbed by incoming and outgoing visitors into your home.

Stop

  • All kinds of punishment.
  • Reinforcing your pet’s undesired behaviour e.g. initiating cuddling or stroking the dog when it is shaking and nervous, although if they come to you for comfort first you should give them gentle attention.
  • Reacting yourself – your behavioural response may transfer to your dog, they are easily influenced by your emotions.

Recommendations for Cats

Start

Environmental enrichments – these are activities which aim to give pets a more diverse interest in their everyday lives such as:

  • Encouraging play and interaction with toys. Engage cats with ‘chase–and–pounce’ type games or mobiles which move and reflect light.
  • Different ways of feeding which replicate their natural instinctive behaviour.
  • Providing multiple feeding places.
  • Thinking in 3D – cats use different levels in the house.
  • Small frequent meals are better than one or two.

Stop

  • Punishment of any kind.
  • Forced contact; this applies to human and other animals, cats notably prefer contact to be little and often and on their terms.

What else can you do to help? It is important to consider short term and long term behavioural management.

Zylkène is a calming supplement containing a natural ingredient derived from milk to help cats and dogs cope with stressful situations. It is suitable for short or long term behavioural support.

  • Short term – begin administration 1-2 days before the predicted stressful event or change in their environment.
  • Long term – give Zylkène to your pet for one month then reassess their behaviour, continue use if needed.

Once the stressful event has passed it’s a good time to consider how you can best manage the pet’s situation long term e.g. initiating a behaviour training programme. Visit www.zylkenepet.co.uk  for more information.

If the pet is strongly fearful and you can’t seem to be able to help them cope then seek the advice of a Clinical Animal Behaviourist as soon as possible.

 

Zylkène is a complementary feed for cats and dogs.

Further information is available on request from: Vetoquinol UK Limited, Steadings Barn, Pury Hill Business Park, Nr Alderton, Towcester, NN12 7LS. Tel: +44 (0) 1280 814500 Fax : +44 (0) 1280 825460 Email: office@vetoquinol.com  Website: www.vetoquinol.co.uk