There are only twelve months in a year and 365 days in most of them. Assignations for months and days for various interest groups to raise awareness abound. This month is National Stress Awareness Month and I phool you not. It must be legal now as this is the 18th year.
I know I have animals around me — my own pets and an awareness of nature and animals in the world — because their presence, antics, focus on the things in life that really matter — reduce my stress (not that stress isn’t sometimes a good thing but that’s a post for another time). My dogs add joy, motivation for exercise, a reason to sweep obsessively and a grounding that keeps me centered. An ethologist at heart, I spend inordinate amounts of time just observing. It never fails to fascinate me.
More often than not the clients I work with are themselves stressed out not just from the vicissitudes of life but from the dog in their life. Helping clients adjust and tipping the dog’s (or cat) presence from a source of stress to a source of stress relief is my main mission in the training/education I provide.
There are various coping mechanisms that go to the root of the problem to help de-stress ourselves. You probably know the ones that work best for you. Whether you choose to medicate to alleviate symptoms, work on modifying your life to reduce stress using methods that resonate for you, or even a combination, many are at a loss for how to help their animals.
In addition to understanding dogs in general and your dog in particular and learning how to become the benevolent leader, there are other resources that might help reduce your dogs stress — whether it’s when you’re leaving your dog alone or helping your dog cope with stressors that are in the environment, going holistic is the best way to get at the root cause.
Two proactive ways include the use of appropriate calming music designed to calm dogs and Bach Flower Essences for pets. To learn more about becoming the benevolent leader, sign up for upcoming spring puppy kindergarten and puppy next step classes.