Our pets can’t tell us when they’re feeling stressed, so it’s important that we watch their body language. Our furry pals can feel fear, anxiety, and stress during day-to activities. Here we talk about some of those activities and how you can help. You can always contact Rice Village with questions about anxiety medications or behavioral therapies for your four-legged family member.


Loud noises associated with thunderstorms can be particularly frightening for some pets. Distraction methods, such as playing with your pup, offering peanut butter in a hollow rubber toy, or turning the television up can help take your pet’s mind off of the noises outside. A snug-fitting garment, such as a ThunderShirt®, can work wonders to relieve storm-related stress in some pets. Some animals, however, experience storm phobia at such an intensity that they require a prescription medication to help them relax.

Traveling in the car

While a ride in the car may sound like a fun outing, it can be downright scary for your pet. Changes in speed, sudden stops, and even car sickness can make your dog or cat dread taking a ride. Animals should never be allowed to roam freely in the vehicle. In addition to keeping him safe, a carrier or seat belt harness will provide stability and security, alleviating much of your pup’s anxiety. If traveling long distances, be sure to stop every two hours to allow your pet to relieve himself and drink some water. If your pet experiences vomiting during car rides, ask us about anti-nausea medications.

Visiting the vet

Taking your pet from his comfortable, familiar home and driving him to the vet, where he might be poked and prodded by unfamiliar faces, can be scary and stressful. The key to alleviating the stress related to vet visits is to help your pet form positive associations with the experience. We encourage you to stop by with your pet at times when you don’t have an appointment. During these “fun” visits, you can bring your pet into the clinic, give him a few treats and praise, let our team show him some love, and then leave. Additionally, we use various methods in our clinic that help to reduce fear, anxiety, and stress during the veterinary visit.

Signs of stress in pets

  • Wide eyes
  • Flattened ears
  • Crouched stance
  • Tucked tail
  • Vocalization

If you think your pet might be experiencing extreme stress or anxiety, please call us so that we can help. Remember, our furry friends rely on us to provide them with the care and attention they need!