How safe are anxiety blankets for pets?

How safe are anxiety blankets for pets?

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Your pet suffers from anxiety if it paces almost all the time or howls when you are about to fall asleep. It is important that you find a solution to your pet's anxiety problem. One solution is to use a weighted blanket. The product was originally manufactured to solve anxiety issues in humans, but are now frequently used to calm down pets as well.

Anxiety reduction principles

Anxiety blankets are simply weighted blankets which were found to be extremely useful in treating individuals suffering from anxiety linked disorders. The heavy blanket mimics the swaddling effect, which a number of individuals find relaxing. This phenomenon is known as sensory integration. The consistent pressure of the blanket assists to reduce the body's physiological stress level. Since the body gets calmer, the mind relaxes as well. Anxiety reduces by a marked amount. Autistic children preferred this blanket over the normal blanket. In short, the psychological effect is an overwhelmingly positive one.If you buy a weighted blanket for your pet, do check its weight. This is as the product may be too heavy for the animal. It follows that you should buy the lighter versions. Choose the lightest human anxiety blanket you find. Select the one marked for babies. The weight of such a product may vary anywhere between two to four pounds. A good quality blanket will have equal weight distribution across its body. Keep in mind the weight of your pet. Putting a four-pound blanket on an animal weighing only 10 pounds is a torture. The animal may breathe with difficulty in such a condition. This is equal to you wearing a tight pant specially restricted around the waist.

Not suitable for all

Anxiety blankets are not suitable for pets already suffering from asthma. This is specifically dangerous for flat faced pets like a Persian Cat or a Bulldog. These blankets are also unsuitable for pets suffering from skin conditions. The constant brush of skin against fabric makes matters much worse than before. The blankets are also not suitable for pets which chew on their blankets. The product is filled with plastic beads. Other than the hazards of beads getting everywhere, the worst scenario is of your pet ingesting the beads. This will result in stomach trouble, including diarrhea. If you think your pet has consumed too many beads, take it to the veterinarian as soon as possible.No manufacturer until now makes blankets suitable exclusively for pets. You could get, however, a number of wraps and vests made especially for dogs and cats. These products fit snugly to the body, imparting a light pressure on your pet. These are excellent for those times when there are thunderclaps or any other loud sounds happening in the midst.

What to Do About Your Dog's Anxiety

Like humans, dogs feel anxiety and stress when they learn to fear triggers or certain stimuli. Whether it's a reaction to firecrackers exploding outdoors or extreme dread when they see their owner leave the home, there are numerous factors that can cause pets to become anxious and fearful. Some fears worsen with age, and if these anxieties go untreated, they may become a health issue over time.

Separation anxiety is a common behavioral problem due to the social nature of dogs, though there are numerous other causes that can bring on anxiety. Pet parents will observe disruptive or atypical behavior when their dogs are in duress due to anxiety. Some of these symptoms may be subtle, while others will be disruptive and obvious.

Causes of Canine Anxiety

Dog phobias range in variety, from common fears like loud noises (like thunderstorms or fireworks), to very specific triggers like shadows or riding in cars. Some breeds are genetically disposed to anxiety disorders, but all dogs can develop anxiety from a fear of immediate or future dangers. These fears may be associated with past negative experiences, or have been formed during their socialization period. The cause of canine fears can be imagined or real.

Symptoms of Canine Anxiety

Canine anxiety can manifest in a number of behaviors and symptoms. Some dogs show anxiety in subtle ways that can be interpreted as odd but not abnormal behavior, such as excessive yawning, licking, panting, shaking, or hiding. Other symptoms, like incessant barking, aggression, whining, and defecating in the house, are more disruptive, and can be misinterpreted as unruly behavior.

Canine Anxiety Treatments

Pet parents must observe their dogs' symptoms closely and try to determine the root of their pet's fears. There are ways pet parents can positively reinforce their dogs to reduce stress or desensitize them to the anxiety trigger. Professional dog trainers can help determine the best behavioral modifications strategies. But in more severe cases, consultation with a veterinarian, who may run tests to look for larger medical issues or prescribe anti-anxiety medication, is recommended.

More on Pet Anxiety and Health

The 7 Unsuspected Pet Dangers of Summer
Traveling with Your Pet
First Aid: Treating A Dog's Laceration

This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.

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