Pet Lover Geek

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Pet Anxiety

June 15, 2021 Lorien Clemens Season 6 Episode 10
Pet Lover Geek
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Pet Anxiety
Show Notes Transcript

From vacuum cleaners to thunderstorms, your furry friend has lots that can unsettle them. Join Lorien as she talks with Kristen Levine about pet anxiety and learn how to help your furry friend feel more secure!

Show Notes

https://kristenlevine.com/pet-anxiety-awareness-event/

https://kristenlevine.com/


00:00 Music

00:01 Lorien Clemens

Hello pet lovers and welcome to Pet Lover Geek, powered by PetHub. I'm Lorien Clemens and today we're talking about anxiety. You've got sweet rescues who lived through all sorts of trauma before they even lived with you. We've got the new phenomenon of pandemic puppies who were adopted and then raised from a work-at-home situation and now they're having to deal with mommy and daddy going back to work, and then there's a wide range of other reasons that your pet may or may not have anxiety. So to get to the bottom and dig in, we are going to be talking with Kristen Levine, who's a great friend of mine and she's an expert on this topic because she started Pet Anxiety Awareness Month and she's going to be geeking out with us today; now Kristen if you don't know her already but you should. Kristen Levine is the founder of Pet Living. She's also a founder of Pet PR. She's in fact a member of the PetHub Board and just all around great knowledge source in the industry. So super excited to be geeking out with her about all of the challenges and the solutions of pet anxiety that she's learned along the way, so stick around with us, got a very short break, and then we're going to have our interview with this amazing woman... Kristin Levine.

01:30 Lorien Clemens

Kristen, welcome to Pet Lover Geek. 

01:34 Kristen Levine

Thank you Lorien! It's so great to be here. 

01:38 Lorien Clemens

I love having you on the show, I mean you've been on the show like what, four or five times. I don't even know anymore.

01:41 Kristen Levine

Something like that. 

01:43 Lorien Clemens

And it was funny. We were teasing about how this is going to get ruckus, but it's not, we are gonna stay nice and calm and professional.

01:50 Kristen Levine

It actually did get a little ruckus this during the intro -- I don't know if you could hear it, but my dogs were going crazy, howling and barking, because the UPS truck drove up.

01:58 Lorien Clemens

Isn't that funny, that may actually be a source of anxiety for them, you never know. As you know I have a brand new puppy.

02:04 Kristen Levine

Yes!

02:05 Lorien Clemens

I actually hoisted my puppy off onto the other people in the house and I was like keep her quiet. She just goes crazy. So before we get too far afield, I'd love it if you could just kind of do a little quick history for our listeners, about you, what inspired you? And then what led to Pet Anxiety Awareness Month? 

02:24 Kristen Levine

I'd be happy to, so I guess, where to begin? You know I've had pets as far back as I can remember. I think my mom said I was two when we got our first dog named Susie, little Beagle, and my first cat, I think I was six and his name was Tabby; and I just always as a kid just was crazy about -- and I mean -- a lot of kids are right, crazy about pets and just wanted to be a veterinarian and just knew somehow I was going to go into the pet field, and then when I moved to Florida to marry my husband, he introduced me to the SPCA here locally in the Bay Area, and I started working there as a volunteer while I was looking for a job and you know, try to you know settle in and make new friends and as I was job hunting a PR job opened up right there at the SPCA, so I ended up working it for 15 years promoting pet adoption, responsible pet care, and you're promoting spaying and neutering, and it was just an incredible experience and I loved it, and it was really fulfilling as you could imagine, you know helping pets get adopted and helping people overcome challenges. And then from there I went on to start my own agency where we worked exclusively with pet and animal health brands and did that for about 12-15 years. I'm still doing that, but somewhere along the way I really missed the direct connection with pet owners that I had back at the SPCA. So that's when I started blogging. That's where Pet Living came to life about six years ago now and it just it gives me an Ave to educate pet owners about how to help their pets have healthier, happier lives and how to find solutions to really common problems, and anxiety, unfortunately, is a really common problem for both dogs and cats.

04:04 Lorien Clemens

I mean as you know, because you've known of my pets for what, 7/8/9 years that we've known each other that anxiety comes in so many different shapes and forms and I would love if you could kind of talk about -- you know, what was -- 'cause and I think you even have one of your peppers. Maybe even both of them if not I don't know the new one that well, has been struggling, with anxiety, so I'd love it if you could kind of talk about like what made you go like you know what -- darn it, we need to have an entire month about this, like we can really talk about. 

04:29 Kristen Levine

Sure, it all started... This would have been about 12 or 13 years ago. I had a yellow lab mix that we adopted at the SPCA. His name was Buck. He was my, what I call my soul dog, like we were just so connected, and poor buck, he was a quirky dog, he had a lot of issues, and around age 4 we noticed that he was fearful when it would thunderstorm, which here in Florida it does all summer long. And he progressively each year would get more and more anxious and started out where he was just kind of trembling and following me around the house, and got to the point Lorien, where he was beside himself. He would try to climb in my lap. He couldn't get close enough to me, and if I were to leave, you know, God forbid, he would try to escape. So in his later years, and this is not very uncommon, but a lot of dogs that have noise aversion which is, you know, fear of loud noises. They also develop separation anxiety -- there more predisposed to develop separation anxiety in which, and unfortunately he did, and there was a period of two years where my husband and I did not travel anywhere together because someone always had to stay home with Buck. It was that bad, so it disrupted our lifestyle to such a degree that, you know, I knew that I had to use that experience to educate others. You know, the experience was a blessing in disguise because that's how I got introduced to veterinary behaviorists, which are veterinarians that you know they're board certified in animal behavior. So they go to school, you know extra years to focus on kind of being pet psychiatrists. Sort of, and that's when I learned that Buck was literally having a panic attack. And yeah, so that was really the impetus for starting Pet Anxiety Awareness Month. It took me awhile to get around to doing it, and I have to credit you for starting Lost Pet Prevention Month. You did that, I forget which year, it was like 20...

06:26 Lorien Clemens

2014  yeah.

06:30 Kristen Levine

You inspired me to finally do something about it, so I have you and Buck to thank.

06:35 Lorien Clemens

Well that's really special. I do remember that vaguely, and I think it is important that we have these times were really say like, let's focus on this for a little while, because it's one of those things that like Lost Pet Prevention. It's one of those things. Oh yeah, everybody knows is important, but we get so wrapped up in other things, or we'll hyper focus on one thing, like people do hyper focused, on the noise aversion thing, and particularly with thunderstorms and fireworks that we forget about all the other things that really actually add into all of this -- that really need to have a holistic discussion. So I'm glad you mentioned the veterinarian behaviorists, because that's of course, you know, Pet Lover Geek -- wanna dig into the science. I would love it if you could chat a little bit about you know what is that science behind the pet anxiety? This is neuroscience I assume, and you know, is it the same as humans that suffer from anxiety disorders? Or is it different? Or what makes up the science behind it all?

07:26 Kristen Levine

That's a really great question and I had a really great conversation with Doctor Lisa Radosta. I guess it was last year and I recorded it because it was so informative, and she explained that... getting back to the panic response, you know this is the emotional part of your pets brain. Not the rational part, but the emotional part that is releasing neurochemicals once it's triggered by whatever is causing their fear, whether it's a thunderstorm or fireworks or you leaving the home, and they are afraid of being away from you, their brain releases these neurochemicals that cause a cascade of events, it mixes with hormones in the body, and they just go into varying states of distress. You know, in milder cases they might just be panting or pacing or whining. For cats they might just be hiding, or maybe not eating, and then of course it can ramp up in more serious cases to becoming destructive. Or you know, full blown, you know what we would call a panic attack. The difference, glad you asked the difference between humans and pets, 'cause I'm sure there's a really great scientific explanation for this, but I can make it simple in that we have the ability to understand, you know, the rational reason. We know what the sound is caused by, and we're not afraid, but our dog or our cat. They don't understand where that sound is coming from. What that sound is, it's just frightening to them. 

08:53 Lorien Clemens

Yeah, yeah and I think that's a key part of it too -- It's a little bit -- I mean, having a toddler in my home right now... it's a little bit like having a toddler -- like they haven't yet gotten to that point of having the logic of understanding like what is causing that, they just know it's happening, and much like a toddler they assume it's about them.

09:12 Kristen Levine

Exactly! Yes, their little worlds revolve around themselves, and I just want to mention we often talk about thunder and fireworks, but noise aversion specifically, I spoke to a woman whose dog would freak out and panic when her Facebook notification would go off. It could be the vacuum cleaner. It could be, you know the lawn mower outside. If you live in a city it could be you know traffic, that kind of thing. So it really can be pervasive. If you have a dog that has noise version.

09:47 Lorien Clemens

Yeah, it could be avalanche bombs. That's what we had to deal with, because we used to live -- we just recently moved into town, but we're still living in the same area, but we used to live right below the base of a ski resort, and they start bombing around 4:30 or 5:00 o'clock in the morning if they've had a big snow the night before, and there were times that we would know, like, Okay, they're going to be bombing in the morning. We need to be prepared with this because Ruler is going to freak out. The other dog and the cats could care less, but ruler, oh my gosh, he freaked out, and it literally sometimes... the boom was so intense that would rattle our windows. So it's not that it was, it would be unnerving for us too if we didn't know what it was, but for him it's like exactly what you described with Buck, he would like to try to crawl into my skin just to get close enough to me. So it's a really severe thing. So I'd love it if you can kind of help talk too about -- because the anxiety can present itself in several different ways, and I think sometimes you may be looking at going, oh maybe my pets in pain, or they're angry about something, but there's key distinguishing things when you're looking at a pet and trying to figure out what's going on, whether it's a pain or it's a behavior thing, or whether or nope this is anxiety. So I'd love it if you could kind of talk about those behavioral clues that you're going to get from your animal to let you know that this is possibly anxiety.

11:13 Kristen Levine

Yeah, sure, and obviously it's going to vary from dog to dog and cat to cat, but generally speaking, some of the symptoms of fear, and I'm going to call it fear, stress, or anxiety because we tend to use the word anxiety as like the umbrella term, but it could be fear based as well and stress, it could be pacing, it could be whining, it could be inappropriate urination or defecation in the home, it could be barking or howling, like my little, my new little pandemic puppy howls when she is fearful, and which is really annoying. It's really a sharp high-pitched howl... chewing -- destroying things, digging, trembling, even dilated pupils, excessive licking, and some of the symptoms of pain may look the same, so excessive licking or trembling or avoiding you know interactions. So I think you your pet best and you probably could tell the difference if your pet is in pain versus in mental pain, but those are some really common dog symptoms, and then for cats it's a little bit more difficult because those kitties are tricky. They are so good at masking. You know medical issues, pain, stress, etc. Plus some of the anxiety symptoms in cats are also kind of things we expect from cats like hiding, social withdrawal, you know, pacing, clinginess things like that. Even aggression can be a sign of fear or anxiety. So a lot of these behaviors could represent different things but you as the pet parent are going to be likely to identify when it's a problem.

12:53 Lorien Clemens

Yeah, well isn't it too about, at least from my experience, having had multiple animals that had some kind of anxiety, at some level, a lot of it for me was going like, huh? That always happens when X is happening.

13:07 Kristen Levine

Yes.

13:08 Lorien Clemens

And so then it became related to the trigger, and that's when I went, I wonder if this is fear. I wonder if this is anxiety.

13:16 Kristen Levine

Exactly. Yeah, exactly. You consider their environment, the surroundings and their personality to kind of figure -- if it's not obvious. You could figure it out using those tools.

13:27 Lorien Clemens

Yeah, so there's clearly, there's a wide variety, this big menu to choose from. In terms of like you know, choose your challenge. So let's talk about the menu of solutions that are out there. What kinds of things can we be doing to help alleviate the fear and the stress and the anxiety? 

13:48 Kristen Levine

Sure, best case scenario is that we start with our pets when they're young. If we're fortunate enough to be in a position to know what to look for and know what to do, then here's some tips for you. For example, like I said, I live in a very thunderstorm prone area, so, you can start to desensitize your puppy or your kitten when it storms. You have a party, you get treats, you get out and play. Maybe that's when you use for some basic obedience training time. Also they make thunderstorm sounds that you can play at a lower volume and slowly increase it, and then you know reward your pet. Have them associate that noise with positive things that happen. So just think about how you can desensitize your pet from certain things, or even going to the veterinarian can be very stressful for a lot of pets. So there are a lot of ways you can make that a more positive experience. I refer to fear free on our pet anxiety awareness page, which that's a whole other show. As you know. 

14:43 Lorien Clemens

Yeah totally.

14:45 Kristen Levine

We can do, but if your pets already an adult and oftentimes they are already adults. They don't necessarily -- they aren't always born with this fear, right? It develops overtime. So by the time that you know we're recognizing these symptoms, it's kind of too late to start the desensitization process.

15:01 Lorien Clemens

Well or you might be getting them after they've already come with a bunch of baggage when you adopt them from the shelter.

15:06 Kristen Levine

Absolutely, you have no idea what their history is, but there you know there are a lot of natural ways and holistic things you can do to help them through this. So for example, it's always great to have a pet that's well exercised because a tired pet is going to be less anxious to begin with. Also, behavior modification, if you, let's talk about separation anxiety for a second, 'cause this is a really big popular topic right now with people starting to go back to previous routines and you know we spent maybe 24/7 a day with our pets and now maybe we're going back into the workplace and they're not liking it because they really like us hanging out at home all day. 

15:46 Lorien Clemens

Yeah.

15:48 Kristen Levine

so sometimes just merely putting on your shoes can be a sign for your pet, that oh my gosh, she's leaving, oh no she's leaving, or picking up the keys. You know they pick up on clues that we would never even imagine that they pick up on, so you can start preparing them for you leaving the home for extended periods of time by leaving for shorter periods of time, and then coming back, and when you come back in, let's say you start out with just may be leaving the house for 5 or 10 minutes, when you come back in, don't celebrate, don't you know, they are excited to see you but just kind of be very normal and nonchalant, and then you know, after they, you kind of have been in the home for a few minutes, then you can greet them and welcome them. You want to stop like making it a really big deal when you come home, because then they're going to really be stressed out when you leave.

16:33 Lorien Clemens

That's interesting. I've never, it never occur to me that because that is one of the most joyful things is to come home to that exuberant, like and, it's just like easy to get wrapped up in that, but it never occurred to me that then, like the entire time I'm gone, she's waiting for me to come back so that she could have that toy, you know.

16:52 Kristen Levine

Yeah exactly, and it's as much fun for us as it is for them, because, you know, no human is ever that excited to see us.

16:58 Lorien Clemens

Yeah no, totally.

17:01 Kristen Levine

But those are some of the things in terms of, like behavior modification that you can do. And then of course there are some natural supplements on the market, oh my gosh, there's so many CBD oils and chews and one of our sponsors this year for pet anxiety awareness is ThunderWorks, and that's the company that created the Thunder Shirt, and so you can use a pressure wrap, like a thunder shirt which is you know, provides a calming experience for the animal, they have Thunder Wonders that are really tasty chew treats that have L-theanine and melatonin in them. These are all things that, you know, are proven to help calm pets, it's just that every pet is different, so you might have to try different supplements and tools to figure out what works best for your pet, and oftentimes what works best is a layered approach, where you know, like. You know, Chili wears a Thunder Shirt and he gets melatonin, whereas you know Tulip is fine with just her Thunder Shirt on so. You have to do a little bit of experimenting, but let's see what else so pheromones, Oh my gosh, pheromones are fantastic. This is synthetic version of the hormone that female cats or dogs produce when they're nursing and you can buy them in a diffuser or in a spray and I think most, a couple of companies offer them in a collar too. Feel Away and Adapto are the two that come to mind. And this also has a very good calming effect on pets, especially for cats, that's a really great tool for cats, because sometimes it's harder to get cats to actually eat a supplement. It just depends on your kitty. And then I've recently started. Well, actually it's been about a year ago when I got my puppy Tulip during the pandemic. I started giving her this life stage supplement by Vetericyn. It's called All In and I bought it for her just because I wanted her to have all the nutrients that puppy should have, but when I was reading more about it, I learned that it also has, let me just see I wrote this down so I didn't get it wrong. It's got memo REM neuro complex which is supplemented with hydroxy tryptophan, valerian root extract, and ginkgo biloba to promote a restful sleep, reduce anxiety and improve memory in aging dogs, so you can get this formula in adult, puppy or senior, but this is the only supplement I've come across that has that mental health benefit, and it's not marketed as a calming supplement,  but it does have that benefit.

19:36 Lorien Clemens

I mean, you know me, I'm a scientist like ok, so what was with with or without? Like, could you see a difference when she's not on it? Or is it something she's been on it continually and you just know that she's doing well? 

19:47 Kristen Levine

You know she's been on it continually since probably she was four months old, so I can't really tell how it's helped her, but I you know, I have spoken to -- I actually got to interview the scientists that helped vetericyn formulate this particular supplement, and it's really interesting you would love, you would geek out on this. This could be a different show, but they created this supplement to be absorbed 10 times better than any other supplement on the market, and obviously we spend a lot of money on supplements. They're not cheap, so you don't want them to just pass through your dog and end up on the grass outside, and so they have found a way through this special protein technology that helps your dog absorb more of the supplement itself, and more of the nutrition from the food that they're eating. So it does a lot of cool things, and it just so happens that this neuro complex is one of the benefits. And then this is one that I've been noticing marketed a lot lately, and I want to try it, but it's called the Calmer Canine SCC loop, are you familiar with that? 

20:47 Lorien Clemens

No, I'm not familiar with it at all, do tell. 

20:51 Kristen Levine

This is another one I have to look at my notes because I will butcher it if I don't, okay, so the Calmer Canine device, it delivers targeted pulsed electromagnetic field signals to the area of the brain that are responsible for causing the symptoms of anxiety. 

21:08 Lorien Clemens

So it's like a biofeedback tool.

21:09 Kristen Levine

It's a biofeedback tool, yeah, exactly and I notice that Sleepy Pod, the company that makes those beautiful carriers and harness, they have actually incorporate -- I guess they licensed the technology, they have one of these devices in their carriers now. Yeah so pretty cool. 

21:25 Lorien Clemens

Yeah, that's actually something I definitely want to check out, they're a tremendous company too.

21:29 Kristen Levine

Yeah.

21:30 Lorien Clemens

And I thought that there was another one out on the market, another like jacket kind of thing that also had some sort of...

21:38 Kristen Levine

Oh yes, it's called Calmz, C.A.L.M.Z. It's a Petmate product and it uses pulse therapy and it sits like right at the base of their neck, that one had some really good success stories I know and let's see what else, I mean music of course, music is a great one too and there are a lot of different companies that have devices or soundtracks, you know some pet acoustics, Icalm, Pet Tunes, and there's a new company, I'll give you a little teaser here. called Zounds. It was started by a music producer, and it hasn't been launched yet, but they're going to do something really, really unique and it will be available through an app, so I don't want to give away too much because, you know they're not launched yet, but music is really helpful. That's actually one of the things we used with Buck before he passed away. I would play Through a Dogs Ear music for him when I knew it was going to be storming, and that definitely had a calming effect on him.

22:38 Lorien Clemens

Yeah, and we use Through a Dogs Ear stuff as well and found that worked really well. The Victoria Stilwell actually put us on to that one.

22:46 Kristen Levine

Yeah, exactly-exactly.

22:48 Lorien Clemens

And I think the key thing there is that you mentioned, when you know that there's a storm coming. And that for us, I mean obviously some types of anxiety things you just can't predict.

22:58 Kristen Levine

True.

22:59 Lorien Clemens

But prevention is everything and being on top of it and knowing this is getting ready to happen but set this up for success. Now I think is key. 'cause it's harder to get them down off that ledge.

23:11 Kristen Levine

It is. Once they've ramped up and you know the neurochemicals have dumped and the hormones of dump, then it you know it's -- what do they say? The horse is out of the gate.

23:22 Lorien Clemens

Yeah, yeah.

23:23 Kristen Levine

But yeah absolutely. Prevention is key and having -- knowing that that trigger is about to happen. Which if we're lucky enough for that to be the case, that's great and then of course you know about Dog TV?

23:35 Lorien Clemens

Yeah, that's actually the one I was thinking. And there's one we have talk about like, yeah so talk a little bit about Dog TV who one of my favorite companies out there. I Love the product. Talk about it.

23:45 Kristen Levine

I do too. So yeah, Dog TV was -- I guess it's been around for probably six or seven years now, but it is a channel -- it's a streaming channel and available on a lot of satellite networks, cable networks... for dogs. It's television designed for dogs and it's visually and audibly, is that how you say it?

24:06 Lorien Clemens

Auditorily.

24:08 Kristen Levine

Auditorily designed for dogs ears and for dogs eyes. So if you are watching this programming, it'll look a little strange. The colors look a little bit yellow or green, but that's because the dogs could see that better and it's really cool content like it's video of dogs walking through a park or playing in a park or its visuals of nature or the trees blowing in the wind and pleasant sounds, and I have to say I was skeptical at first, but Chile has been a longtime watcher of Dog TV. I leave it on during the day when I'm working up in my Home Office. I leave it on downstairs and they they love to watch it and even if they're not watching it, if they're sleeping while it's on, it's still very soothing and calming.

24:52 Lorien Clemens

Yeah, and I got to tell you too. So cats and toddlers also respond very positively.

24:58 Kristen Levine 

Oh good! That is awesome. 

25:01 Lorien Clemens

Yeah, it's funny because I had it playing in the background. You can get it on Roku too, which is fantastic. I was so excited when we got a new Roku. I was like, oh, that's awesome. But yeah, I had it on in the background while I was trying to do laundry and folding and whatnot and actually it was during one of their free periods where you can do it for free, which are great. They do them every so often. So if you're skeptical like Kristen says, check it out because it's really cool. But yeah, everybody in the room except for me was like riveted to the TV. The cats, the dog, and the toddler, and I was like going sweet, I can get some laundry done.

25:34 Kristen Levine

Exactly. Yeah, if you go to their website you can sign up for their newsletter and you're right, they do those free periods quite frequently so you can find out when the next one -- actually they, I know they're going to be having a separation anxiety event on Dog TV on I think it's on June 12th and that's a free event, even if you don't have Dog TV. So yeah, they are our supporter and then I have to talk about veterinary solutions too because there are times, like in Buck's case, where unfortunately, I wasn't educated when I started to see those symptoms, so it took us a while to kind of figure out what to do, and by then you know he had kind of this neural pattern in place already. It was very difficult, if not impossible to reverse. So when you notice that the symptoms are getting increasingly worse or whatever you're doing, or using doesn't seem to be working anymore, that's when you want to talk to your veterinarian, and unfortunately you know fear and anxiety in pets is not often diagnosed because people don't think to always talk to their vet about it. You know, especially if you're going in for pets annual exam, you get the shots. You know you're just getting the overall physical exam and you might not think about it. 'cause it's not top of mind, but these are medical conditions, specifically noise aversion and separation anxiety that can be treated through a combination of behavior modification and medication when necessary, and Sileo is a an FDA approved medication for noise aversion. That is a big supporter of pet anxiety awareness and Chile has unfortunately, his noise aversion had progressed to the point where he needed, you know, some medical help for the really loud, nasty, scary thunderstorms, and always for fireworks, so we give him Sileo and that is one that you do have to kind of know it's coming up so you have to be watching the weather, or you know, on the 4th of July, usually around 4:00 or 5:00 o'clock in the afternoon is when we start to give it to him, but it's very safe and we had terrific results with it and he's much calmer. 

27:36 Lorien Clemens

We actually have discussed doing kitty Prozac because we have a cat who because it's it's. It's one of those things. Although we did and you mentioned Feel Away earlier so give nice shout out to them. I will say that since we started using the Feel Away, didn't see immediate results, but without making any other changes over 3 or 4 days, the behavior kind of stopped. In our case of having to change environments to deal with a senior cat. It made the younger cat freak out a little bit about this is not the way it's supposed to be guys, because we had to change bathroom accommodations and everything is better and I do. I think it raised his anxiety about a lot of things that he would seem very on. You know, whenever somebody would come near where the bathroom was and everything like that and it led to some bathroom behavior issues that were not acceptable for us.

28:25 Kristen Levine

Yeah and for cats, just minor changes in the household can cause them anxiety. It doesn't always take very much. They like to be in control of their environment and a lot of those negative behaviors and those symptoms pop up when either a new pet enters the home or or you -- did that happen when you moved? 

28:46 Lorien Clemens

No, actually funny thing it didn't happen when we moved, when it happened was we had the senior cat, who you know, we finally decided we have to lock her up at night. We have to make it so that she can't have free roam the house 'cause otherwise we wake up to little presents all over the house because of her intestinal issues that she has, and she does seem to do better if she's staying in one place, and so basically to save that stress for us. We said okay at night. She's going to be in the cat room by herself, and so we had at first tried to put both cats in the cat room at night while Tormund our younger cat was like I don't think so dudes, he literally like figured out how to open up this big heavy door to actually, comedy of errors, just trying to keep that door locked and then we decided, well, let's give him a separate place so he could have free roam. Let's create a separate bathroom space for him. We already had two bathroom spaces already, but they both tended to be the closed up part. So we created another free bathroom space for him and he did a little bit better, but he still clearly was freaking out. You know, like this is not the way it's supposed to be guys and you know when we had moved, he didn't even really have a blip. We kind of kept, you know status quo, we just basically took the same situation we had the old house and we put it in the new house and they had a cat room where he had all the toys and you know things like that, but anyway, the Feel Away -- I was kind of skeptical about it, but the vet suggested it, and I think three or four days after using it was when the behavior stopped and we haven't any, knock on wood, haven't had any issues since, so you know.

30:19 Kristen Levine

It can take some time. Yeah were you using the diffusers?

30:22 Lorien Clemens

Yeah, the diffusers and you know and I can't smell it but I will say this like, he every now and then will go up against it like rub up against one of the plug in things you know, and I'm like... so he knows what's going on.

30:38 Kristen Levine

He's like I know your secret.

30:40 Lorien Clemens

He seems fine with it so, and the biggest thing is that the behavior was modified with that, like he stopped. He stopped basically peeing in places that he shouldn't, but yeah, we only have a couple minutes left. I want to make sure that folks know where to go to get all this information. I mean, they're probably, you know, furiously taking notes, but where can I go to find all this stuff at my fingertips?

31:07 Kristen Levine

Sure, you can just go to petanxietyawareness.com, if you can't remember that. Just Google Pet Living and you can find it. It'll be on the home page. You can click through to it, and we've got tons of resources there. Video interviews with expert veterinarians, behaviorists, articles, books and I have to thank you Lorien and PetHub for being one of our industry partners this year, for helping us to share the word about this because really, the goal is to just educate pet owners about how to recognize the signs and the symptoms so that you can get your pet the help that they need, so that it doesn't progress to become a really chronic issue. We're kind of positioning it specifically towards separation anxiety this year just because so many folks are already experiencing those types of symptoms or will be, and so I'm excited that Reconcile has joined our partnership this year. They are a FDA approved drug for separation anxiety.

32:05 Lorien Clemens

Oh nice, how timely, yeah and as far as us working with you, we consider it a natural fit for what we are trying to do with not only helping people raise their pets in the best way possible, but also as far as a lost pet prevention tool. Pet anxiety leads to pets going missing every year, so it's a big part of preventing pets from going missing, is keeping them safe and happy at home. So yeah, we are very happy and feel honored to be part of the whole thing. So thank you so much for joining us today Kristen, always a pleasure.

32:39 Kristen Levine

It's always my pleasure. I look forward to whatever are next interviews about.

32:44 Lorien Clemens

Oh I know, I know. It's like what can we geek about next. So we're done with our chat for today, but great having you -- always so grateful that you're in this industry to help educate folks, promote animal health and support great companies the way you do is always always a pleasure.

32:59 Kristen Levine

Thank you Lorien.

33:00 Lorien Clemens

So if any of you listening today are interested in learning more about Kristen and what she does, make sure you go over to kristenlevine.com. You can also Google pet living. You can also go to petanxietyawareness.com. Lots of different places that you can find out and of course, if you're listening to this show. Check out the show notes, we'll have a bunch of links there for you to check out as well. Thanks so much for listening. This is Pet Lover Geek powered by PetHub. I'm Lorien Clemens, and until next time, go hug those for kids.

33:28 Music