Let’s talk (meow or woof) about pet mental health

Vicky Sarah
Written by Vicky Sarah

Mental health is an essential topic. Not just for human health and wellbeing but also for animals too. As a remote animal communicator and reiki practitioner, I feel that animal mental health and wellbeing isn’t talked about enough, despite the high prevalence of animals experiencing mental health issues.

In fact, animal anxiety is believed to be more common than human anxiety. In one study, 72.5% of all dogs showed at least one anxiety-related behaviour, the researchers revealed in the journal Scientific Reports. Noise sensitivity was the most common across all breeds, affecting 32% of dogs.

According to the APBC, they estimated that as many as 50% of domestic cats experience an emotional disorder. Even though it is unclear how many are related specifically to anxiety, it’s expected that anxiety would be a component in a large proportion of cases.

Our beloved pets are there for us through everything, and the positive effects of pet ownership on mental health are well documented. But we must remember that our pets can also struggle with their mental health too and need our support. It’s therefore important for us, as their human family, to be able to recognise the signs and look out for their wellbeing.

What to look out for

Have you ever wondered if your beloved pet struggles with their mental health and in what ways can they show you? During my distance animal reiki and communication sessions I often receive signs that an animal is experiencing mental health issues. Here are some of key physical and behavioural changes to watch for:

  • Loss of appetite – changes in eating because it doesn’t bring them joy
  • Weight loss which is linked to a loss of interest in eating
  • Sleeping way too much
  • Disinterest in play
  • Staying very close to you a lot more than usual
  • Quietness/lack of vocalisation which is out of character for them
  • Attacking their own fur or limbs

Your first port of call for any concerns should always be your animal’s veterinarian. But the good news is there is other help available to understand and support your pet’s mental health as well.

How animal communication and reiki can help

You may be unsure what is creating the worrying changes in behaviour in your pet. Pet owners are often non-specific in describing the behaviour; many comment that their animal is acting out of the norm and doing things which they wouldn’t usually.

They may, for example, be attacking a part of their own body, which can be extremely worrying and distressing for the owner. They may be hiding in strange places, or they may simply have become withdrawn.

During a distance pet reiki and communication session, I link intuitively to your pet and connect energetically with their chakras, writing down any messages telepathically received. The chakras, which are commonly underactive or imbalanced if your animal is experiencing mental health issues, include the Heart chakra (feeling loved and wanted), the Throat chakra (feeling heard), the Crown chakra (connection to the higher realms), and the Root chakra (feeling safe).

The importance of listening

Every animal is unique and their mental health challenges are unique to them too. Mental health issues can sometimes link to inadequate nourishment and nutrition. I worked with an animal who was very underweight and wasn’t eating properly. Though a very complex case, and many issues like these are deep rooted and can be linked to previous neglect or trauma, I heard clearly that this animal was craving a particular type of food protein and passed this information to their carer.

Their guardian observed the animal eating, and it was literally picking out this protein and leaving the rest of the food! This is because this was the nourishment that it needed most and made it feel happy. The learning from this is that often animals know what is best for them, and that through communication with your animal, I can share this information with you, as their guardian. It is also important to remember the role that good nutrition plays in animal mental health.

Animal reiki helps to effectively identify which of your animal’s chakras, or energy vortexes, which take energy into the corresponding parts of the body, are open and in balance or closed and/or imbalanced. During an animal reiki session, I work through each chakra, I can feel the energy flow and work to restore balance. I will then explain which areas of their life and their body this corresponds to, and pass this information to you, as your animal’s family.

Animal mental health is a complex and multifaceted issue but through paying close attention, working closely with your animal’s veterinarian, and considering working with an experienced animal reiki and communicator, you can work to restore balance into your animal’s life. If you are interested in how animal communication and reiki could help your animal and would like to explore the topic further, I have written a piece on how you can help animals with anxiety.

Main photo by Krista Mangulsone on Unsplash