"Kate, I'm so worried. Sammy isn't eating normally and seems depressed. What's happened to my happy, bouncy dog?"
I'm receiving more calls like that as quarantine drags on. We've heard a lot about how happy many dogs are having their human family around all day, but there are some, if not many, dogs, cats, birds, and other companion animals who are experiencing overwhelm.
Where's the overwhelm coming from?
1) Change in routine. Our animals were used to a routine of their humans going to work, school and coming home at the same time every day. Meal time and walks fit into this routine. Now, with everyone home, walks may be more frequent or at different times. Meal time may be different.
2) Noise. Again, the animals are used to quiet houses during the day. That's not true any more. Computers, TV, radio, conversation... all this noise is new and can disturb them.
3) More animals in the house. For example, what if college kids are home with their animals? Everyone has to adjust to the newly shared and more crowded space.
4) Stress. This is the BIG one. Every animal is experiencing the roller coaster of stress and worry we're all going through. The more sensitive your animal is, the more they feel it.
How to Help
1) Try to recreate a routine for your companion. The feeding and walking routine can be different from before, but it will help them if you create something more regular while you're at home.
2) Create a safe, quite space for your animal to retreat to if she needs to. Be sure any "guest" animals have the same in their person's bedroom. If your companions want to be wherever you or the rest of the family is, try to create some quiet time every day with them. Read a book or magazine. Meditate or do yoga, Tai Chi, stretching...Have a quiet conversation. Play soft music. This can help your nervous system as well as theirs.
3) Be aware that your companion will pick up on your stress, so do everything you can to "flatten the curve" of your roller coaster stress. Take Rescue Remedy in your water every day and pet them with it. Drink herbal teas that calm, help sleep, de-stress and focus your mind. Exercise daily and practice some of my suggestions in #2 above.
4) Do your best to feed species-appropriate meals. If your companion is not eating a raw balanced diet, but canned and/or dry food, take out some of the canned or dry and add in some plain, low-fat yogurt for moisture, calcium and good gut-supporting organisms. Add cooked scrambled eggs, cooked ground meat that matches the meat in the dry or canned food. These are easy to digest and will provide extra nutrition to support them through the stress. NOTE: Please don't over-feed with extra treats or more food at meal time. We don't want our animals adding pounds along with us because we're all bored and eating more!
5) Add some extra herbal calming support. Here are my favorites:
"Composure" by Vetri-Science is a chicken liver flavored treat so both cats and dogs like it. I like that it's main ingredient is L-theanine from green tea. So it calms without having a sedating effect.: Click Here
"Solliquin" with extracts of magnolia, Philodendron and L-theanine. A soft chew for cats and dogs. Click Here
"Nutricalm," by RX Vitamins for Pets. Nutricalm has valerian in it so it has a much more sedating effect. But it's great for really stressed animals. It comes in a capsule for dogs and a liquid for cats. Click Here
Remember, in an animal communication session, in addition to zeroing in on just what your companion needs right now, I can do energy balancing and releasing of stored stress in your beloved. Book a session Here
Stay safe and well.
With Love, Your Voice of Animals,