How Can I Best Take Care Of My Pet This Winter? Here’s Our 8-Step Guide.

It’s that time of the year again. The temperatures drop and the days become shorter which means our beloved pets require extra care and attention to stay warm, healthy and happy. Winter can be a challenging time for animals, as cold weather poses unique risks. Additionally, it’s essential to remember that pet care is a year-round commitment, including maintaining regular flea and worming treatments, like VetBox, even during the colder seasons.

Want to find out how you can best look after your pet this winter? You’ve come to the right place! Below is our 8-step guide of things to be mindful of when caring for your pet during winter:

1. Make an Effort to Understand Winter Risks for Pets

Winter brings about a set of challenges that can affect your pet’s health. For instance, exposure to cold can lead to hypothermia, especially in smaller and short-haired breeds. Moreover, chemicals used during winter, such as antifreeze, can be toxic to pets. It’s crucial to understand these risks to ensure your pet’s safety and comfort.

2. Create a Warm and Safe Space

Ensure your pet has a warm and cosy place away from cold drafts and damp areas in your home. Bedding should be thick and comfortable, and for pets that spend time outdoors, proper shelter is essential. Also, consider a pet-safe heating solution if necessary.

3. Manage Outdoor Time

While some pets enjoy playing in the snow, it’s important to limit their time outside during extreme cold conditions. For breeds that are more susceptible to cold, consider using pet coats or sweaters when you venture outdoors. After dog walks, check and clean your pets’ paws to remove any salt or de-icing chemicals that they might have stepped on, which can be harmful if licked off.

4. Be Mindful of your Pet’s Diet and Hydration

Your pet’s dietary needs might change in winter. Some pets require more calories during the cold months, while others who are less active, might need less. It’s important to ensure your pet has access to clean, unfrozen water at all times, so do regularly wash and refresh their water bowls.

5. Maintain your Pet’s Mental Stimulation and Exercise

Due to winter’s rainy, wet and colder conditions, your pet may spend less outdoor time which means, finding ways to keep them fit and mentally stimulated indoors is crucial. Interactive toys, puzzle feeders and indoor play like hide & seek can help keep your pet active and engaged even if the weather prevents you and your pet from exploring outdoors.

6. Keep Up-to-Date with Grooming and Health Checks

Winter can be tough on your pet’s skin and coat. Regular grooming helps prevent matting and dry skin. It’s also a good opportunity to check the body of your pet for any unusual signs that might require veterinary attention.

7. Maintain a Year-Round Parasite Prevention

Contrary to popular belief, fleas and worms are not just a summer problem. These parasites can survive indoors during winter, making year-round flea prevention crucial for your pet’s health. VetBox offers a convenient and effective way to ensure your pet is protected against fleas and worms throughout the year, not just in the warmer months. 

Check out how to get started using VetBox here to protect your pet against fleas, ticks, roundworms and tapeworms.

8. Give Extra-Special Care for Senior Pets

Older pets, or those with health conditions, may need extra care during winter. They may be more vulnerable to the cold and might require adjustments in their diet, exercise and medication.

Winter care for pets involves a bit more than just keeping them warm. By understanding the unique challenges of the season, being mindful of all the above tips, and continuing with regular health checks and parasite prevention with products like VetBox, you can ensure your fur friends stay happy and healthy throughout the winter months.

We hope this blog has been helpful and armed you, as pet owners, with useful guidance on how to best care for your pet in winter. 

We’d love to know your winter pet care tips or experiences with VetBox in the comments below, please share them with us if you can!

8 Tips To Keep Your Pet Calm During Fireworks Night

As a pet owner, you’ve probably experienced the anxiety fireworks night can bring to your pet. The loud bangs and bright lights can be distressing, leading to fear, anxiety, and stress. However, with the right preparations, you can help your pet stay calm and comfortable during fireworks night. We’re going to provide you with 8 valuable tips to make this experience less stressful for both you and your pet.

1. Create a Safe Haven

One of the first steps to calming your pet during fireworks night is to create a safe and secure space for them. This can be a quiet room or a comfortable crate. Add their favourite toys, blankets, and bedding to make it cosy and inviting. If possible, find a space where noise from outside will be minimised.

2. Stay with Your Pet

Your presence is a significant source of comfort and reassurance for your pet during fireworks displays. Staying with your pet and speaking to them in a soothing voice can help make them feel safe and calm. Offer your pets cuddles to help ease their anxiety. Your calm demeanour can have a positive impact on your pet’s state of mind.

3. Close Curtains and Play Soothing Music

Close the curtains to block out the flashes of light from the fireworks. Playing soothing music or white noise at a reasonable volume can also help mask the sound of the fireworks. There are specialised playlists designed for pets available online, which can be particularly helpful!

4. Consider Thunder Shirts or Anxiety Wraps

Thunder shirts or anxiety wraps are snug-fitting garments designed to provide gentle pressure to your pet’s body. Many animals find this pressure calming, and these products are available for both dogs and cats which you can easily purchase online. You can try one on your pet to see if it helps them feel more secure.

5. Consult Your Veterinarian

If your pet’s anxiety during fireworks night is severe, it’s a good idea to consult your veterinarian before fireworks night. They can recommend anti-anxiety medications or other interventions that may help your pet cope with the stress. Veterinarians can also provide advice tailored to your pet’s specific needs.

6. Gradual Desensitisation To Firework Noises

Desensitising your pet to fireworks noises can be effective over time. You can find firework sound recordings online. Start with a low volume and gradually increase it while rewarding your pet with treats and praise. This process can help your pet become more accustomed to the loud sounds and less anxious.

7. Use a Lead When Going Outside

If you need to take your pet outside during fireworks night, make sure they are on a leash or in a secure, enclosed area. The loud noises can startle them, causing them to bolt and run away. Keeping them on a lead or in a secure area is crucial for their safety.

8. Ensure Proper Pet Identification

Always make sure your pet has proper identification, such as a collar with an ID tag and a microchip. In case they do manage to escape, it will be much easier to reunite with them if they have the necessary identification.

Fireworks night can be a challenging time for pets, but with the right preparations, you can help keep them calm and safe. Creating a secure environment, staying with your pet, and using techniques like thunder shirts, desensitisation, and soothing music can make a significant difference in their comfort.

Remember, your furry friend depends on you for care and support during these stressful moments. By following these tips, you can ensure a more peaceful and enjoyable fireworks night for both you and your pet.

Understanding your pet’s pain: 5 tips for recognising discomfort

September is Animal Pain Awareness Month, an important reminder for pet owners to pay attention to their furry companions’ well-being. Unlike humans, pets can’t directly communicate when they’re in pain. As responsible caregivers, it’s our duty to learn how to recognise signs of discomfort in our beloved pets. In this blog, we’ll share five essential tips to help you detect if your pets are in pain.

1. Watch for changes in behaviour

One of the most reliable indicators of pain in pets is a change in behaviour. Keep an eye out for any unusual actions, such as decreased activity, hiding, or a sudden increase in aggression. If your normally sociable pet becomes withdrawn or irritable, it could be a sign that they’re in pain.

2. Observe changes in appetite

Pain can significantly affect an animal’s appetite. If your pet suddenly loses interest in food or water, or if they’re eating less than usual, it’s a red flag. Additionally, some pets may overeat when they’re in pain due to stress or anxiety. Therefore, it’s important you monitor their eating habits closely.

3. Pay attention to grooming habits

Changes in grooming behaviour can also be an indication that your fur friend is in pain. Cats, for instance, may stop grooming themselves properly if they’re hurting. Dogs on the other hand, might excessively lick or bite at a painful area. Check for bald patches, redness or swelling, as these can provide valuable clues.

4. Limping or altered posture

Physical manifestations of pain are often evident through your pet’s posture and movement. Watch for limping, stiffness, or reluctance to move. If your pet suddenly favours one leg or seems hunched over, it’s a sign that they may be experiencing discomfort.

5. Vocalisation and restlessness

Some pets may vocalise or become unusually restless when in pain. Whining, whimpering, or yowling can all indicate distress. Restlessness, constant pacing, or an inability to settle down could be a sign that your pet is struggling with pain.

Animal Pain Awareness Month serves as a reminder that our pets rely on us to be their advocates when they can’t express their pain in words. By paying close attention to changes in behaviour, appetite, grooming habits, posture, and vocalisation, you can become attuned to your pet’s needs and potentially detect pain early. Prompt recognition of pain can lead to timely veterinary care, ensuring that your furry friend receives the necessary treatment and relief they need.

Remember, every pet is unique, and signs of pain may vary. If you suspect that your pet is in pain, consult your veterinarian immediately. Early intervention can make a world of difference in your pet’s comfort and well-being! Let’s use this month to raise awareness about the importance of recognising and addressing pain in our animal companions, because every pet deserves a pain-free and happy life. 

How to prepare leaving your pet safe and happy with a sitter

As much as we love spending time with our pets, we can’t always be with them 24/7. Although it’s difficult, sometimes it’s necessary to leave our pets at home when we travel. So, we’re going to share 3 key steps you can take as a pet parent whether you’re hiring a professional sitter, or having a friend or family to take care of your pet to ensure your time away from home will go smoothly and stress-free. 

1. Familiarise your pet with the sitter

It’s important to find the right person to leave your pet with while you’re away as this can reduce a lot of anxiety. If you’re hiring a professional, it’s best to make sure you book as far in advance as possible as good pet sitters have busy schedules.

Once you have someone confirmed to take care of your pet, it’s helpful for them to visit your home a few times in the week or two before their stay, and similarly if you’re leaving your pet at a family or friends’ home, pop round a few times. This is so your pet and sitter are well acquainted and your pet will be used to their new surroundings.

For dog owners, another helpful tip is for you to go on walks with your dog and their sitter, point out your dog’s favourite spots in the neighbourhood or their favourite park to play at. You can also try to give the sitter the leash on the way back so your dog can warm up to them. 

2. Make sure your house is prepared

To make things easier for your pet sitter and to avoid any accidents, it’s essential to ensure your home is well equipped with your pet’s daily needs and tools required in case of emergencies. 

  • Keep your home hazard free – put away any small toys or clutter that can be a choking hazard when your pet is left alone. 
  • Clear any valuables – store away things that you do not want your pet to damage, scratch or chew on such as shoes, cushions, plants and rubbish. 
  • Prepare all your pet’s essentials – lay out your dog’s leash, any toys you want them to have, bed, carrier or crate that is easily accessible for the sitter. Ensuring your pet has enough food, waste bags, medication (if necessary), treats, and pet first aid kit are also key. 
  • Secure your back garden – make sure your garden doesn’t have any gaps or broken fences that your dog can escape from. If your garden is not completely secured, it’s important that you make the sitter aware so they can keep your pet on a leash while being out in the garden. 

3. Leave key instructions and notes for your sitter

Although you may just be a call or message away, it’s always helpful to have written instructions, key notes or an itinerary of your pet’s schedule for your pet sitter to refer to. 

It can also be too much to expect your pet sitter to remember every single detail to care for your pet. Post-it-notes and lists go a long way to ensure your pet is happy and safe while you are away. Here’s a few helpful notes you can leave your pet sitter:

  • Your pet’s schedule / day-to-day routine.
  • Your pet’s personality, any behaviours they should be aware of.
  • Any allergies your pet may have and medication they need to take.
  • Emergency contact numbers and your trip itinerary.
  • Your pet’s veterinarian contact details and address in case of an emergency. It’s also important to let your vet know your pet sitter is authorised to take care of your pet.
  • Any specific rules about your pet’s diet – Portion sizes, feeding times.
  • Next of kin contact information just in case your sitter cannot reach you.
  • Spare keys and house alarm information for your sitter.

In the end, rest assured that your pet will be safe and happy as long as you’ve made all the necessary arrangements and preparations. Lastly, avoid making a fuss when you leave as this will only trigger your pet’s anxiety. Try to go for a walk or play a game of fetch before it’s time to part ways with your pet to keep your departure casual.

How to avoid losing your pet

It is heartbreaking when your pet goes missing, so since July is National Lost Pet Prevention month, we want to share 5 key reminders on how you can keep your pets safe.

1. Ensure your pets wears collars and I.D. tags

Dogs should wear a collar with a tag. The right collar is snug but not too tight – you should be able to fit two fingers between the collar and their neck without too much of a gap. Pet I.D. tags are available to purchase online or in most pet stores. It’s also your responsibility as their owner to ensure that the contact details on the tag are up to date!

It can be dangerous for cats to wear a collar as they may snag, especially when they are out and about. If you wish to put a collar on your cat, a quick release collar is the safest option to prevent your cat from getting caught or stuck when they are outside. 

It’s important for your pets to wear collars and I.D. tags since this will help identify them should they get lost. Pets who wear identification tags are more likely to be returned home safely.

2. Secure your garden and home

Sometimes it may not even cross our minds to double check and make sure our gardens are escape-proof. Our furry friends are adventure seekers and there may be times where they’ll try to sneak out of their homes. Make sure there are no gaps between your fences and gates that are big enough for your pets to fit through and make sure they’re tall enough for them not to jump over. It may be a good idea to also avoid placing garden benches or plant pots nearby fences to prevent pets from using this as a step to jump over.

3. Microchip your pet

Microchipping your pet is a painless and affordable procedure. Should your pet be picked up by someone if they get lost, they can be taken to the vet to scan their microchip and match this with your contact details, so make sure the information in your pet’s microchip is up to date. 

4. Teach your dog “come” and “stay”

Obedience training your dog has so many benefits. From teaching them basic commands such as ‘sit’, ‘wait’, ‘here’ and ‘stay’, it’s a lot safer and easier to take your dog out in public. This gives your dog the freedom to do the things they love such as running off lead, greeting friends, family and even strangers while being safe and under control. This will reduce the possibility of your pet getting lost and prevent them from trying to bolt out of an open door or gate on their walkies. 

5. Find the right leash

If your dog is more aloof and likes to bolt and run around, investing in a long line lead on their collar to keep them secure is a must. Your fur babies are still very keen and tempted to run away and chase squirrels or cats, so if your dog doesn’t have a strong recall, finding the right leash and keeping them by your side is the safest option to avoid losing them. 

We hope these 5 key tips will help you keep your pets safe. It’s important for us as pet owners to ensure we do everything we can to prevent our pets from getting lost. July is one of the busiest months of the year with summer holidays taking place and many people are travelling with their pets. Let’s continue to spread awareness and reduce the number of missing pets each year.

The spring plants you didn’t realise were poisonous

Spring brings us warmer weather, blue skies, and blooming plants. However, it’s important to remember that some seasonal plants may be poisonous to our fur babies. Here are the most commonly found poisonous spring plants, and the signs of poisoning. 


Daffodils – Found in gardens or kept inside, if dogs ingest daffodils or consume the water they are kept in, this could cause an upset stomach, vomiting, and can make them fatigued. The same reaction can be seen in cats. 

Bluebells – These can be found in the woods, so keep your dog close during walks in these areas. If ingested these can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, fatigue and disorientation.  

Azaleas – These can be a beautiful addition to your garden, however even the smallest amount consumed by your dog could cause difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting. 

Tulips – If you’re planning to pick some up from the shop or grow them yourself, keep these away from your pup. Tulips can cause drooling, diarrhoea and vomiting. The same reaction can be seen in cats. 

Other poisonous plants include:

  • Buttercups
  • Crocuses
  • Cyclamen 
  • Elderberry
  • Foxglove
  • Hyacinth 
  • Lupin 


Lillies – These are the perfect seasonal flower, however even in a vase of water, they can be extremely poisonous to cats. The flowers, leaves and pollen can get stuck to your cat’s fur and consumed through grooming, this can cause vomiting and even kidney failure. 

Amaryllis – The stalks, flowers and bulbs of this beautiful plant, unfortunately, contain a toxin which can cause your cat to vomit, have a change in blood pressure and potentially have a seizure. 

Hyacinths – Commonly found blooming in a garden, consuming these can lead to your cat drooling, vomiting and having diarrhoea. 

Other poisonous plants include:

  • Chrysanthemums
  • Gladiolus
  • Crocus
  • Cyclamen
  • Foxglove
  • Widow’s thrill

There’s no need to worry as long as you keep these plants out of reach, and there are many pet-friendly plant options which can be used to spruce up the garden or your house this spring.

A road trip with your pet

Heading on a road trip with your pet can feel daunting. You want to ensure that your pet is comfortable and safe, whilst enjoying the journey. Here are our tips to prepare you for a stress-free trip.

The essentials

  • Plenty of water 
  • Food and extra treats 
  • A comfort item from home such as their bed or a blanket 
  • A collar with ID tags, your pet should also be chipped too. 
  • Their carrier or crate 
  • Animal first aid kit 

Dog essentials and tips


  • A harness that can be safely attached to a seatbelt 
  • Weather-appropriate clothing/accessories, e.g. a jacket for colder weather
  • Lots of poop bags 


  • Take plenty of breaks. This will allow your dog to use the toilet and stretch their legs.
  • Bring some chew treats or toys. Sitting for long periods of time can be challenging for active dogs, therefore providing them with some stimulants will keep them entertained.

Cat essentials and tips


  • Litterbox – this will reduce your stops 
  • Feline anxiety medication – just in case 


  • Pack litter and take minimal stops. Stopping a lot within a journey can cause more stress for your cat, so bring their litter tray for when they need the toilet and keep the pitstops to a limit.

Car tips and rules

  • Never leave your pet unattended in the car. This can lead to them panicking and if the outside temperature is warm, your car will heat up quickly, even with a cracked open window. 
  • Dogs should be restrained at all times, whether in their crate or by their lead. Dogs are much bigger than cats and if loose can become dangerous and a distraction whilst driving.
  • Create a space safe. Some animals won’t like to be kept in their crate for long periods, this is why you dedicate a space in the car for your pet. Adding blankets from home and some food and water will help direct your pet towards this. 

For one less thing to think about before your journey, use VetBox to ensure your pets is tick, flea and worm safe when you arrive at your destination! 

How to introduce a new pet to your other pets

Bringing another pet into your home is exciting, but sometimes other pets can get territorial or jealous. Here are some of our top tips for introducing a new pet to your current pet. 

Cats to cats 

  1. Let your new cat explore their surroundings first – To begin with, keep the cats in separate rooms. Set up one room just for the new cat to get comfortable in and adjust to your home. 
  1. The first interaction – Let the cats catch a quick look at each other through an open doorway or a window, or you could leave a blanket they’ve been lying on with the other cat so they can catch a scent. This will let both cats know there’s another cat present without overwhelming them immediately. 
  1. The official meeting – When you feel your new cat is settling, this is when you should let them meet your current cat. Open the door and let your new cat come out in their own time and let the cats come together when they’re ready. 
  1. If there’s an issue – It’s normal for cats not to be friends straight away so be patient. If there’s any sign of aggression, take your new cat back to their room and ease your cats into meeting another time. They will warm to each other eventually!

Dogs to dogs 

  1. Keep them separate – You should provide both dogs with their own safe space and try to keep them separate where possible so they can adjust to sharing a home with another dog. 
  1. Leased interactions – For the first couple of meetings it’s best to keep both dogs on leashes so you have more control over their engagement with each other
  1. Keeping a distance on walks – Where possible, try to take them on walks together but keep them separate. Over time and once your dogs are comfortable around each other, you can decrease the distance and let them walk together. 
  1. Reward positive behaviour – If either dog is calm and kind around the other, you should reward them with praise or treats. 
  1. If there’s an issue – If your dogs are getting stressed or aggressive, you should contact a dog trainer to help guide you through the process.

Dogs to Cats 

  1. Finding the right fit – Before adopting either animal, you should do your research on how well they match up with a dog/cat and how their breeds have socialised historically. This will help you choose the right fit. 
  1. Providing safe spaces – As with any other pet introduction, each pet should have its own safe place. You should also try to keep their outside time separate initially, just until they’re comfortable around one another. 
  1. Initial interactions – In the first few meetings between your dog and cat, you should use leases or gates to keep them separate. This will avoid any unpleasant contact. 
  1. Rewarding positive behaviour – Both pets should be rewarded with praise, attention or treats when being calm and friendly around the other animal
  1. If there’s an issue – You should contact a trainer, they can provide advice on reading body language and how to manage interactions. 

Is my pet overweight?

The dangers of pets being overweight include increased risk of diabetes, arthritis, and Cardiovascular disease, and unfortunately, statistics show that a large percentage of dogs and cats in the UK are overweight or obese. 

But why? What is it that’s contributing to our pets being an unhealthy weight? 

Read on to discover why so many pets are overweight, the major health risks of obesity, how you can determine if your pet’s weight is appropriate, and how we can fix it. 

How can I tell if my pet is overweight?

Most vets use a system called Body Condition Scoring to give an idea if your pet is an appropriate weight. While exact calculations can absolutely be done, evaluating BCS is a quick and easy way to decide whether or not there can be an improvement in your pet’s weight. 

BCS systems are typically done on a scale of 1-5 or 1-9. 1 means your pet is extremely thin, whereas 9 would indicate obesity. On the 1-5 scale, 3 is “ideal”, and on the 1-9 scale, 5 is “ideal”. That being said, I personally prefer to keep my patients SLIGHTLY under 3/5 or 5/9 for good health, especially large breed dogs.

Looking at your pet, you should be able to see a defined waistline when looking down over the top of your animal, and a nice upward tuck of the abdomen when looking from the side. When feeding your pet, you should easily be able to feel their ribs and tail base without pushing inwards, with a thin layer of fat over these structures. 

Hills Pet Nutrition and Nestle-Purina Pet Care have excellent resources for people that show pictures of body condition scoring charts in more detail. You can check out these charts here:

Why are so many dogs and cats overweight?

Often pet owners don’t realize that dogs and cats have different styles of metabolism than people. Their bodies process things in different ways and at different speeds. For example, feeding your dog a piece of cheese may seem insignificant, but depending on the size of your dog that amount of fat could be approximately equal to us eating three large cheeseburgers from Mcdonald’s. Treats are a common culprit. Vets are happy for you to give your dog treats, but we have to remember to keep the quantity small and to decrease their regular food amount to reflect the extra calories from the treats (while still keeping a balanced diet). 

Common problems:

  • Feeding too much food. 
  • Feeding food that is inappropriate for the pet’s life stage or lifestyle. 
  • Feeding too many treats, including human food. 
  • Not enough exercise/activity. 
  • Undiagnosed underlying diseases.

The dangers of your pet being overweight 

Vets hear a lot of pet owners making comments about their overweight pets being “cute” or “well-loved”.  We also hear that being overweight “isn’t a big deal” or they’ve “always been like that”. While we 100% know and love that pet owners want the best for their pets, we have to be clear that being overweight is dangerous for your pet’s health. 

Here are some conditions that pets are at increased risk of by being overweight:

  • Arthritis, joint pain/inflammation
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure) 
  • Diabetes 
  • Respiratory difficulty/exercise intolerance

What can I do if my pet is overweight?

Don’t fret, there are definitely things you can do to help improve your pet’s weight to keep them happy and healthy longer. Usually, vets recommend weight loss be done slowly and under veterinary direction. Here are some tips for safe weight management:

  • Ensure you are feeding a diet appropriate for your pet’s life stage.
    • For example, diets approved for “ALL LIFE STAGES” have to contain enough protein, fat, and carbohydrates for growing puppies and pregnant/nursing females. This typically is TOO much for average adult dogs, meaning adult dogs eating these types of diets may be overweight.
  • Be aware of the amount of food and treats you are feeding every day.
    • Do you know how many calories your pet is consuming? This can surprise owners.
  • Talk to a vet about if a “WEIGHT MANAGEMENT” diet is right for your pet.
    • Sometimes owners just need to feed a bit less food or give fewer treats. But there are some pets that benefit from either an over-the-counter or prescription weight management diet. 
  • Talk to a vet to discuss the potential for any underlying diseases that may contribute to weight issues.
    • Female large-breed dogs are a common demographic that may have reduced thyroid hormone production contributing to weight gain, just like some human women.
  • Regular exercise for pets is just as important as it is for us.

Top tip:

Your pets rely on you to help keep them at a healthy weight, leading to a happy and long life!

Dr. Kirsten Ronngren, DVM MRCVS

What to do if your pet is scared of strangers

The fear and anxiety our pets might have around strangers is not uncommon, and can be caused by several factors. Today we’re unpacking why your pet is anxious, signs to look out for and how you can help. 

Reasons for your pet being anxious 


Dogs – Certain breeds of dogs might be more skittish or timid. These breeds include: Yorkshire Terriers, Greyhounds, Dalmatians, Beagles, and more. 

Cats –  Cats have different and unique personalities, some may be outgoing and energetic, whilst others might be more shy and nervous. 

Lack of socialisation – If your pet didn’t have a lot of contact with strangers as a puppy or kitten, they can develop a fear that they carry through their life.

To learn more about socialisation we have blogs about kittens and puppies on our blog

Dogs and cats that have been mistreated previously 

Signs your pet is anxious or scared 


  • Barking or growling 
  • Snapping 
  • Hiding 
  • Running away 


  • Tail wagging 
  • Hiding 
  • Running away 
  • Trying to appear smaller 
  • Arched back 
  • Hissing 

How to help your pet

Stay relaxed and patient 


If you’re out on a walk and you feel your dog getting anxious, your instinct might be to tighten the lead. It’s important to stay relaxed and soothe your dog to ensure the environment is friendly and calm. 

If your dog is scared of strangers, do not force them to engage as this could lead to your dog getting agitated and acting out. 


It might feel frustrating when you don’t see any improvement in your cat’s fear of strangers, but you have to be patient. Let your cat come out of their shell in their own time and don’t force any interaction they won’t feel comfortable with. 

Prepare your guests

If you’re planning on having visitors at your house, make sure to let them know in advance that your pet is scared of strangers. Ask them to not pick up your cat or try to pet your dog, instead let your pet come to them. 

If you notice any of the signs listed above, remove your pet from the situation and consider putting your pet into a safe and comfortable space to calm down. 



Finding a suitable dog trainer can help you understand your dog better and learn how to manage situations where they are fearful. 

The trainer can also recommend different methods to help you manage your dog’s fear of strangers, such as a wire basket muzzle. 


You can train your cat to be around strangers with behaviour modification, such as overlearning and positive reinforcement.

Easing your cat into interactions by creating distance between them and your visitor, and slowly instigating a meeting, will help ease your cat’s nerves. You can reward their behaviour with treats and play-time.