Pets—be it cats or dogs—can suffer from a range of emotional issues, such as separation anxiety, fear, aggression, and hyperactivity, just to name a few. While training and behaviour modification is essential to helping a pet deal with such issues, natural calming therapies like herbs or aromatherapy can tackle such problems as well.

If you’re curious to know how you can better take care of your pet’s emotional and psychological well-being, here are a few ways to do so. As all dogs and cats are different, certain methods may or may not work for them, so give each method a go to see which one works best for your furkid.

“Massages benefit your pet’s sleep quality and blood circulation, and aids in detoxifying the body,” shares Laves Goh, founder and pet aromatherapist at local pet massage centre, SCENTsational. “Regular massages may help with the coat and also improve their quality of life.” She advises pet parents to massage their furkids at least once a day, and recommends the use of various essential oils (mixed with vegetable oil as a base) like lavender to induce sleep, chamomile to calm and relax your pet, and sandalwood to soothe your furkid and keep bugs away.

Another popular method to help your pet feel better holistically comes in the form of music therapy, and this can go hand-in-hand with massages. The right type of music can lower heart and breathing rates and reduce anxiety, all while helping your pet to zen out.

Zoe Gan, founder and senior canine therapist at Pawsitive Sensations shares a five-step massage regimen that paw-rents can do at home.

  • Using open palms, move down your pet’s body from the head to each leg, ending at the paw.
  • With your pet lying on his side, gently move each joint in the leg forward and backward to keep the joints limber.
  • Using both thumbs, gently press from the middle of the forehead to the spot located above the eyes. Then, move along both sides of his head until you reach the back of his ears.
  • Lightly massage the base of the ears in small circular motions.
  • Repeat the first step.

For more tips on how to better take care of your furkid's emotional and psychological well-being, flip to Body & Soul (pg 58) in our Dec 2016-Jan 2017 issue!