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Can I Use My Weighted Blanket with My Pet?



SLEEP SCIENCE

5 minute read
wonderful weighted weaves girl in napper red

You know your pet better than anyone else. You’ve probably dubbed him or her the “cutest in the world” and you probably talk to them in that high-pitched baby voice when they greet you at the door. You can also probably tell when they’re happy, when they’re bored and, of course, when they’re stressed. Sometimes it may be anticipated, like by a trip to the vet, and sometimes it may not be. But when it comes to our furry little friends, we can’t help but always want the best for them. Which is why it’s so difficult to see them upset or worried and feel like there’s absolutely nothing we can do. It can be quite… ruff, if you will.

Until recently, there haven’t been many solutions to help soothe our pets during restless times. We’ve had to sit back (in agony ourselves likely) and simply wait for it to pass. But us humans aren’t the only ones who need some extra comfort every now and then, and we can actually look to some of the same tools we use to provide relief to our stressed-out pets. Like a weighted blanket, for example. After all, loads of research has confirmed the positive benefits one can have on the body, especially when it pertains to the nervous system. However, you may be wondering if they’re safe for your best friend.

The answer is yes! You can absolutely use a weighted blanket with your pet, but if you have a small-to-mid sized dog or a cat be careful not to let your fur baby bury itself under the blanket alone. It could be too much weight for them to absorb on its own. Otherwise, weighted blankets can be an excellent way to help relieve their anxiety, just as it can be for us. Known to increase serotonin and decrease cortisol, they provide instant relaxation that’s both physical and mental. Of course, the use of one will depend on the symptoms your pet is showing and the root of their anxiety. Here are some common behaviors that dogs and cats show when they’re feeling anxious or stressed.


sofa dog



Physical signs


Animals often show physical signs of anxiety, which can come in the form of barking, panting, trembling, tail-tucking, tail-chasing, hiding or pacing back and forth.


Increased sleeping


If you find that your usually-active pet is sleeping more often than before, it may mean they’re stressed out or sick.


Isolation


If you find that your pet is continuously isolating itself, this strange behavior may mean they’re feeling anxious (or that you’re a really annoying pet owner).


Destructive behavior


Distressed animals are often more destructive when they’re left alone. This can be a telltale sign of separation anxiety.


Decreased appetite


Just like humans, your pet may show a decrease in appetite when they’re feeling stressed.

The actual cause of anxiety amongst pets can be due to a wide variety of factors. It’s tricky. Sometimes it’s situational and sometimes it’s merely based on personality (look further into your specific breed if you think this may be the case). Either way, when considering how to help your dog or cat defeat their jitters, it’s important to know and understand the source of where they’re coming from. Here are some common circumstances that may be causing your pet to feel distressed, and how a weighted blanket can help.


Snap, crackle, POP!


Loud noises, such as firecrackers, motorcycles, thunder and even household appliances like vacuums and blenders, may trigger a pet’s anxiety. That’s why New Year's Eve and the Fourth of July can be a true nightmare for our four-legged companions. Animals who react negatively to such sounds may find it calming to have a weighted blanket swaddled around them. It will help to mimic the feeling of a hug, while also releasing serotonin to silence (no pun intended) their nerves. Keep it in a spot they find comfortable, which may be their bed, your bed or the couch. Use it together on extra-noisy nights to really make them feel loved!


Hit the road, Jack!


Separation anxiety is quite common amongst pets. This may be especially true for animals that have been rescued from traumatic situations or those suffering from an illness. If you think this may be what’s causing your pet’s distress, a weighted blanket can be a huge help during times when you’re away (like that darn 9-5 job we all have to have to survive). The crucial thing here is to use it first before giving it to them. Sleep with it a few nights. This way, your scent will cling to the blanket, and they’ll have something soft to snuggle up with and ease their anxiety when you're not around. Plus, it will make reuniting just that much better!


sleeping dog



Questions?


Feel free to reach out to our team for more information (hello@bearaby.com).

We’re always happy to help! Especially when there’s a cute animal involved.


Bearassentials

• When it comes to calming down The Fast and the FURRIEST, weighted blankets are quite effective and appropriate for your pet, so long as you’re under the blanket with him or her and absorbing the majority of the weight. This is especially true for cats and smaller dogs.


• We’ve shared a few symptoms that might indicate that your furry friend is in fact experiencing anxiety, which isn’t uncommon among pets—cats, dogs, and rescue animals, in particular.


• A weighted blanket might be the best solution to help your fur baby manage separation anxiety, especially at times when they’re alone in your apartment or house. Simply allowing them to curl up on the blanket, while you’re off bringing home the bacon, figuratively and literally speaking.

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Did you know?
When they are still growing, puppies sleep on average 18-20 hours a day. Now THAT is a long nap!



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