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Even big or heavy items ship free. If your order total is $39 or more, the shipping is on us!

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Free Shipping over $39
Ships Free

If your order is more than $39, it ships FREE anywhere in New Zealand, including rural addresses. It's as simple as that.

Ships fast

Free shipping doesn't have to be slow shipping! We provide:

  • Next working day delivery for all North Island addresses.
  • Two working day or faster delivery for all South Island addresses.
No Exclusions

Even big or heavy items ship free. If your order total is $39 or more, the shipping is on us!

You can learn more in our free shipping policy

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Understanding Stress and Anxiety in Pets

Did you know up to 80% of cats & dogs experience a behavioural condition in their lifetime? Emotional well-being is equally important as physical health for our pets.

How can I tell if my pet is stressed or anxious?

As devoted pet owners, it’s a troublesome thought that our pet might be anxious or stressed. There are some common triggers we can look out for.

What can cause my cat stress and anxiety;

  • the presence of other cats in their living environment,
  • territorial changes, such as a newborn learning to crawl,
  • owner stress,
  • confined living conditions,
  • veterinary treatment or hospitalisation.

What can cause my dog stress and anxiety;

  • altered living conditions (e.g. new home, boarding kennels, holiday),
  • temporary environmental changes (e.g. unusual noises such as storms, solitude)
  • or changes in routine (timing of walks or meals).

However, these lists are by no means exhaustive, your pet can be sensitive to various environments, situations, or change.

Physical Signs a Pet Is Stressed

Royal Canin Cat and Dog

Animal behaviourists use the “Four F’s” to describe reactions to a threatening or triggering environment: Fight, Flight, Freeze, Fiddle. Many people are familiar with the ‘Fight/Flight’ response, but it’s the ‘Freeze’ and ‘Fiddle’ that can give us the insight we crave to better meet the emotional needs of our pets. There are varying signs and body language that can indicate your pet is stressed.

It’s important to note that behaviours need to be observed ‘in context’; is this behaviour appropriate for the situation? Panting on a hot day or immediately after strenuous activity would be considered ‘normal’, however, panting in the veterinarian’s office after 15 minutes of rest is not. Additionally, a pet may struggle to get in a comfortable position to rest and be ‘unsettled’ for multiple reasons, such as pain or obesity, not just anxiety.

Signs a pet is feeling stressed can include;

  • excessive panting or lip licking
  • leaning away
  • inability to settle
  • avoiding human contact
  • ‘whale eye’
  • ears back or flattened
  • destructive behavior
  • house soiling

It’s a good idea to consult with your veterinarian to ensure there are no underlying medical reasons for your pet’s behaviour, as well as to discuss your concerns. If they are stressed or anxious, thankfully as pet owners there are ways you can support your pet’s emotional wellbeing.

Calm-Product-Detailer-(2)-02

How to Help a Pet With Stress and Anxiety

The good news is that there are often many small changes we can make to our pet’s environment that can have a big impact on improving a healthy pet’s mental wellbeing.

What can I do to help a stressed cat?

  • Allow your cat to have their own individual space or retreat
  • Ensure there are elevated perches for your cat to observe from (like a strategically cleared bookshelf near a window)
  • Help stimulate your cat’s senses (including smell) during short, multiple playtime sessions
  • Ensure resources such as food, water, litter and beds are not shared and are in separate rooms – water should be at least 0.5m away from food
  • Try to introduce unavoidable changes gradually, using behavioural and nutritional support

What can I do to help a stressed dog?

  • Just like cats, dogs too need their own individual space or retreat
  • Help stimulate your dog’s sense of smell through scent work i.e., enrichment walks and snuffle mats – this has been demonstrated to lower blood pressure and improve mood
  • Ensure interactions are mutual and consensual (some dogs don’t like pats, especially from unfamiliar people)
  • Ensure resources such as food, water, and beds are not shared and are in separate rooms
  • Try to introduce unavoidable changes gradually, using behavioural and nutritional support

 

Is There a Pet Food That Helps With Stress and Anxiety? 

Royal Canin offers two products to help support your pet’s emotional wellbeing; ROYAL CANIN® Calm and ROYAL CANIN® RelaxCare.

relax care product-03ROYAL CANIN® RelaxCare is formulated for dogs adapting to intensive situations. It contains an adaptogenic nutrient; a naturally active protein molecule that supports a calming effect within 4-6 weeks of transitioning diets. Additionally, it is complete and balanced, to give a healthy base for wellbeing. Available for mini and medium, in wet and dry dog food.

Shop ROYAL CANIN RelaxCare

 

vhn-health-management-calm-cat-cat-dry-packshot-b1ROYAL CANIN® Calm diet is a veterinary exclusive product, formulated to help support your cat or dog's emotional wellbeing within 2-4 weeks of transitioning. It contains a hydrolysed milk protein and adapted L-tryptophan ratio to help support emotional balance in stressful environments and social situations. Suitable for cats and dogs under 15kgs. ROYAL CANIN® CALM is available in dry cat food or dry dog food only.

Shop ROYAL CANIN Calm

Talk to your vet if you have any concerns about your pet’s emotional balance or would like to find out if ROYAL CANIN® Calm is suitable for your cat or dog.

The ROYAL CANIN Team

Written by The ROYAL CANIN Team