If your pet begins to exhibit behaviors that are uncharacteristic to him/her, and your veterinarian has ruled out a health-related issue as the culprit, stop and ask yourself, “What’s changed?” For example, if your cat begins to urinate somewhere other than their litter box, and there isn’t a urinary tract infection or other type of illness in play, what changed? Did you relocate the litter box? Did you get a new litter box? Did you start using a new type of litter? Any of these could cause your cat to exhibit undesirable behavior as a way to call your attention to their displeasure. In this case, put things back their original state and see if that solves the problem.
What’s the best way to calm down an anxious pet?
Anxiety in pets can be caused by many things, including unexpected loud noises, separation from family members, unfamiliar people coming into the house to do repairs, or any type of significant change to their daily routine. Thus, calming them down should include reassuring them that they are safe, everything will be okay, and communicating with them about the cause of their anxiety.
As an example, when my dog becomes anxious from hearing loud, unexpected noises (i.e. thunder, lightning, fireworks), I wrap one of my T-shirts around him, apply a drop of a calming pet essence to his inner earlobe, and reassure him in a calming voice that he’s okay and that the noise will end soon.
As another example, if you’re going on vacation, let your pet know if they are going to go with you or not. If they are staying home, let them know if a pet sitter will be coming by to take care of them and how often. If they will be boarded, let them know what to expect while there. Most importantly, let them know when you will be back.
If they get to go on vacation with you, let them know how you’ll get to your destination, how long it will take to get there, what to expect while they are there, and when you are going to be going back home.
What advice do you have for people with pets approaching the end of their lives?
When I am contacted to communicate with someone’s beloved pet about whether it’s time to help their pet transition or not, I always recommend that people trust their own intuition. Of course the animal can tell me whether they are ready to go or not. But, that may not be that instant. Instead, it may be in a few days, a few weeks, or longer. When it is time, it’s the human companion of the animal that will know on a deeper, intuitive level.
I have had many animals during my lifetime and even before I was able to communicate with them as I do today, I always knew when it was time to let them go. One such instance that I wrote about was when I lost my Schnauzer, Buzz.
We all have a special heart connection with our animals. That connection is an intuitive one. Much like twins that are miles apart knowing when something is wrong with the other, you will know on that same intuitive level when your animal is ready to make their transition.
You must see pets with all kinds of stories—any particularly interesting or funny ones that stand out?
Sometimes, animals converse with me in somewhat cryptic ways. When this happens, I relay the information exactly as it is presented and then the human companion and I “peel back the onion” to determine exactly what the animal is trying to convey.
I once communicated with a horse that had stopped eating and drinking for several days. After the vet ruled out any medical issues as the cause, the owner called me and asked me communicate with her horse. The horse initially provided me with two words when asked why he wasn’t eating and drinking, “green water”. Of course this wasn’t much to go on. But, I relayed what he said in hopes it would have meaning to the owner. Unfortunately, it did not.
So, I began asking the owner additional questions in an effort to determine what “green water” may mean. I asked her if there was a pond on the property that may contain green algae. There was not. I asked her if there was a trough that contained water that may have some algae in it. There was not. Finally, she remembered that the horse used to drink and eat from green buckets that hung in his stall. She went on to say that she replaced both of them about the same time the horse stopped eating and drinking.
I suggested she remove the new buckets and replace them with the original green buckets. Once she did, the horse resumed eating and drinking normally. Suffice it to say, the horse liked what he liked and didn’t want new buckets!