By in Animals

How To Help Your Pet Overcome Fears

Many people all around the world have a pet and often times we have to treat our pet like a person because they react similar to how we do. People have fears and phobias that require attention so it is only natural for a pet to have a fear or phobia with a similar situation. There can be many things that your pet is scared of or it can be just one thing that might have your pet scared or on edge. A pet phobia or fear is similar to a person with a phobia because it can cause your pet stress and anxiety similar to a person. If your pet has a fear or a phobia, there are some easy things you can do to help them overcome it, just remember it will take time and patience.

Do not just aggressively place a toy in your pet's face if your pet has a fear of a new toy. We all love spending money on our pet and getting them a new toy, but sometimes they are not as happy with it as we are. It sometimes takes a pet a little while to get used to a new toy being introduced into their environment. If you buy your pet a new toy, just place it on the floor and let them come over to sniff the toy and smack at it for a while. You can put the new toy in a place they go to often such as near their food bowl or on the floor next to their bed. When your pet is ready to check out the new toy, they will on their own and then they will begin playing with it. Placing a toy right in front of your pet and expecting them to just start playing with it is asking too much. A pet often needs time to get acquainted with the new toy and time to sniff it out and make sure it is okay.

Play with the new toy yourself so that the pet might have an interest in the toy and overcome their fear quicker. Sometimes a pet will just want your acceptance or your acknowledgment that a new toy is safe for them before they begin playing with it. Take the new toy out and begin playing with it near your animal to show them it is safe and then they might become curious and come over to check it out. You can hold the toy and let your pet sniff it and then play with it near them to get them interested in the actions of the toy. Sometimes playing with the toy yourself is a quicker method to help your pet get over their phobia of a new toy.

If your pet is scared of a new bed or bedding you bought for them, lay it near comfortable areas for your pet. If you spent money on buying a new bed for your pet and notice they do not lay in it, maybe moving it will help. Introduce new bedding to your pet slowly by putting it near something they like such as the bed or a couch. You might also want to lay the new bed near their cage or food bowl so they can come over and check out the new bed in a location they are comfortable in. Do not just get a new bed for your pet and throw them in it because they will run off scared and probably will not ever go near it again. It is important for such items as beds that they are introduced slowly and put in an area where your pet feels safe. You might also want to put a blanket down in the bed that your pet associates with as being safe and comforting to help them get over their phobia. Sometimes having an item your pet likes near the bed will make them feel safe and eventually they will use the new bed.

Helping your pet get over their phobia is all about introducing items into the home slowly. Let your pet get used to the item by putting it near things they use or lay on so they know they are safe. When you are trying to introduce a new item you also want to make sure you just let them come over and check it out on their own, they will want to sniff the item and possibly eat the item to see what it is all about. Placing an item right in front of your pet or under their nose will only intimidate them and make them more likely to stay away from that item even more. If it is a new person that you want to introduce then the same rules apply. Make sure the person puts their hand out so the pet can sniff them and feel comfortable with them before they try to pet them. A pet is often scared of new smells and sound so making them get over their phobia requires patience and time. Eventually, a pet will see that the new item is not something to be scared of and they will end up getting curious and checking it out.

If your pet is scared of things like a car ride, you want to gradually introduce the car ride in the same fashion. Place your pet into the car first without the engine on for a few minutes to get them used to the backseat or wherever they are going to be. You can place a blanket in the car that they like so they will feel less anxious and more comfortable. Gradually make your pet used to the car by turning it on and letting it idle with them in it for a few minutes until you work your way up to taking a car ride. You can have it idle for a few minutes and then start going out of the driveway slowly, showing your pet they are still safe. Once your pet has a feel for the car going down the driveway you can begin a slow car ride maybe around the block. You want to gradually increase the distance and the time your pet is in the car so that they do not freak out while in the car for the first time. Using gradual steps to achieve a car ride is also important because it can reduce the number of accidents your pet might have in your car or the number of times they get sick from the car ride.

If your pet has a fear of bathing or water then the process also requires a lot of time and attention to help them overcome this phobia. A cat is the animal you will most likely see with the water phobia and it is no easy task when it comes to bathing them. The first thing you want to do to help your pet get over their phobia of water is again using gradual introduction. Start off by taking your hand and getting it wet and then place your hand on your pet to lightly get them wet. You might want to place your pet in the tub or sink for water introduction so that you do not have a huge mess all over your house. You can then take a small cup and fill it half way and pour it down the back of your pet to introduce them to water. You do not want to drench your pet in water the first time but you want them to feel the water on different parts of their body. You can then move to the top of the head and tail so that they can feel the water and see it is nothing that will hurt them. Dip one paw at a time in water to help your pet get over their fear of water when it comes to their feet. Over time, you will be able to give your pet a bath without them freaking out at the sound of running water. Make sure you only are doing the water introduction on a hot day or when the weather is appropriate for bathing since the cold will harm your pet. Allow your pet to smell the water and drink the water while you are introducing it to them so they can get a feel for what it is and how it works.


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Comments

acelawrites wrote on August 14, 2014, 11:27 PM

That is true, pets could have phobias too. My dog hates the veterinarian's shop because he got hurt when they trimmed his claws for the first time.

BNelson wrote on August 14, 2014, 11:35 PM

A lot of people actually teach pets to have fears, for example if they give attention to a dog in a lightening storm or when fireworks go off the pet is trained to think that something scary is happening and it needs comfort, it is best to actually ignore these events. I note that wild animals do not panic in storms they just try to get out of the rain.