I bet one of your animals is feeling your anxiety if you’re anxious about the COVID-19 virus or some other big, scary event (personal or global).
One friend noticed that her young dog is sleeping more – very unusual. My dog, Tibor, went into a prolonged anxious whine yesterday. We couldn’t discover any of the usual reasons for his behavior. And another friend woke at 2 AM to his dog’s anxious crying.
It’s probably not going to be all your animals
More than likely, it’s going to be the one prone to nervousness on a normal day. You know, the cat that hears you sniffle and jumps up to sleep on your chest to make sure you’re going to be fine. Or the dog who disappears when there’s a slight disagreement between her humans.
But they’re probably all feeling something
Just like in a family, each personality responds differently to something negative happening in the family. Some seem to ignore it, some try to fix it, others act nervous or hide from it.
Signs of a nervous dog
Some of the signs of a nervous dog are dribbling pee around the house, tail thumping and chuffing. Read more signs here.
How about cats with anxiety?
Some behaviors that suggest you’ve got an anxious cat are they follow you everywhere, hide a lot, or stop using the litter box. Read this article for more examples!
So, what do you do about animals feeling your anxiety?
Start with yourself. Take actions to release your anxiety. There are many actions that are helpful.
I’ve found doing nothing usually isn’t helpful (hah)!
- Spend time outside. These days, I feel Nature welcoming me, sharing her beauty with me. I received this poem in an email from The Chesapeake Bay Foundation and had to share it with you.
The Peace of Wild Things
By Wendell Berry
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives might be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
- Meditate. Close your eyes and look at your eyelids while you sit quietly for 5 minutes. Or visualize a beautiful rose or candle or silently chant a phrase that calms you.
- Work your body. Walk, skateboard, dance, run, jog, do yoga, Tai Chi, Chi Gong, Pilates, bike. If you can, do it outside or face a window. Notice the sky and the trees and birds and squirrels.
- Listen to a guided meditation. There are tons of good ones – Google Meditation for anxiety.
- Play with your animals. It’s a two-fer-one – you both win!
- Gratitude! Write down 5 things you’re grateful for.
- Call a friend or family member and find something to laugh about together.
- Connect to your Higher Power and feel the love, concern surrounding you.
Still having problems with animals feeling your anxiety?
If you’re still having issues with your anxiety affecting your animals, I can help.
Bring a smile to your face – join my Facebook group, Spiritual Pet People. We share our love for animals and stories that warm our hearts.