As our pets, both horses and dogs and cats etc…, become more and more a part of our family we are noticing indicators of stress more visibly.
Is this because our pets are getting more stressed?
are we getting better at noticing stress indicators because we are becoming more familiar with our pets?
The third question to this is; are these stress indicators normal or are they of concern?
Stress is a real thing which is concerning your customers.
If you can understand it better, you may be able to educate your teams in a different way to help those customers, and thus advise, on more appropriate products to purchase……be they Pet Treats or other Pet Products???
Firstly, lets discuss what Stress is???
“Stress is a complex mechanism involving the central nervous system, and various organs with numerous hormone interaction.” (Diana Performance by Nature pet stress report).
A simplistic definition for sure, however, from a science perspective it is important that one understands that it is indeed a natural occurrence which exists in all things……NOT just us!
Essentially, it is a survival mechanism which shows itself when something threatens, or a perceived threat, presents itself and that animal reacts for survival purposes.
But is there more to it than that?
The perceived threat may not exactly be a threat. As such, the response is an over-reaction and that causes the problems which in-turn can become annoying habits….
These things only become a health issue if the stress, or perceived stress, is prolonged.
Indeed, stress can actually be good for health if it is preparing the body to protect itself either physically or emotionally be it from bacteria, predators, or a change in surroundings.
The reaction may indeed be beneficial and necessary.
If the stress is prolonged……then the adverse issues start occurring.
It is well documented that prolonged events of stress can then cause health issues ranging from immune deficiencies, mental issues and actual life threatening illnesses such as cancers.
So in order to take control of these issues we need to identify what is causing the stress and then how to mitigate the problems caused by the stress.
Some signs of Stress in dogs, according to the university of Minnesota, are as follows, but not limited to:
· Panting and salivating
· Diarrhoea/ bowel movements
· Inappropriate urination
· Licking the lips
· Whining, excessive vocalising
· Excessive scratching or licking repeatedly
Check out more at the “Signs of Stress Report”.
The cause of these stresses can be, but not limited too:
Being left alone for long periods.
Confusing or inconsistent training or handling
People exhibiting strange or unusual behaviour
Unpredictable or rough handling
Being crowded by people or other animals
A resident or staff member being nervous or acting in a strange way from the animals perspective
Extreme indoor and outdoor temperatures
Once again, to see more on this list check out the “Signs of Stress Report”
Understanding these signs, then asking ourselves firstly if the stress is natural, and thus, justified is really important.
Once you can help identify if there is a potential problem then the process of dealing with these stresses comes into play.
One deals with these by a number of ways:
Teaching the animal to become more adaptive and resilient through training and reassurance.
Removing the stresses.
Ensuring the diet is optimal so they are getting the correct nutrients for their body to make the right amount of hormones to manage stress.
Using certain Pet Treats and other Pet Products to give the pet something to divert their attention away from the perceived stress event.
Using drugs to control the stress.
There are so many products which can then be used to aid in the management of stress and certain Dog Treats will help when used in conjunction with knowledge.
Why not discuss this with your teams and next time someone asks, you can spend time identifying what might actually help.
At the very least it will provide a certain level of value to that customer and it will illustrate that not only do they matter, but you as business people actually care……. This will help you stand out…..
Hope these thoughts help in some way?
Feel free to contact us if you would like to find out more about Active Pet Products and what we offer or if you want to know more about treats which can help manage stress?
Have a great week from the team @ Active Pet Products