February 15, 2024

Three Things I Want My New Family to Know

Stomach turning. Mind Buzzing. Brow tightening. Ears pinned down. We’ve all experienced stress and know how uncomfortable it is, but did you know stress affects pets as well?

Hi, I’m Pixie, a top dog at the Ottawa Humane Society. There are a few things that make me uneasy: being left alone; loud, sudden noises; not being able to exercise and unleash my energy; and guys named Phil.

I can’t speak for humans, but I know that dogs sometimes can’t help but feel nervous. Just as important as preventing the thing that makes us uneasy is our people knowing when we’re feeling uncomfortable and the steps to take to support us.

These are the top things me and a lot of other dogs want our people to know:

  1. Pets are different and different in different situations. I couldn’t think of a different word, but what I mean is that what makes me uncomfortable might not be the same for other pets. Other dogs might be OK with Phil even though he’s a total jerk.

  2. Pets find different things scary, but our body language is kind of the same. When Phil drops in unannounced, I tense up. You can see it in my face — the guy is trouble. I’ll keep my distance, try and stay small so he doesn’t notice me and might give him a bark or two to let him know he’s creepy and weird. I’ve met a lot of dogs, and almost all of us agree this is the best way to let our humans know we’re not feeling comfortable. We say a lot through our body language!

  3. Pets don’t all calm down the same way. When Phil finally leaves, having the chance to go for a walk, play or anything else that will get my energy out helps a lot. Other dogs have a whole other routine. Maybe they want their person to be right beside them, need a treat or a toy to distract them, or there’s something else entirely that will help them relax.

The biggest takeaway? Different pets react differently to situations, but when our families know what to look for and take the time to help us relax the way we want to relax, it can make all the difference.

Even better, there’s a huge webinar series coming up that gives way more tips and tricks about pets and anxiety than I will ever know. If you want to better connect with your pet and be the best pet owner ever, sign up today.

And you get a special early bird discount when you register by Friday, Feb. 16!