Cats and dogs suffer mental health issues just like people. While people can seek help, sometimes the signs and symptoms in pets can be difficult to read, they rely on us to realize something is wrong. Separation anxiety is common in dogs. If you are planning a holiday and its time for kennels, or if you are returning to work after working from home for a prolonged period you might not even know your dog is suffering. This is because signs might only be present when you are not there. This includes destruction of toys, shoes, door frames and the like. Toileting inside the house, neighbors complaining of barking or whining, sometimes a puddle of saliva is the only clue. Kennel hands might report withdrawal and hiding after you leave. Dogs with separation anxiety can also experience noise phobias- sudden and profound responses to noises that are over the top. One type of noise can be thunder or storms- but the reaction can be to wind, to lightening, changes in barometric pressure, rain and not just noise. It is harder to recognize distress in dogs that show less obvious signs, withdrawal and inactivity, soft whimpering, drooling, or pacing. This might not even seem a problem for you, but if you think it is getting worse, it is important to do something about it rather than ignore it and find it gets worse over time. Cats also experience stress, anxiety, and fear too which can impact their mental health. They might also withdraw, groom less, play less and spend more of their day awake pacing or alternatively hiding. If you think your cat is depressed, it might just be the case. And while stress can cause loss of appetite in cats, others will overeat. Stressful things include irregular feeding times and being hungry for extended periods; irregular cleaning of litter boxes, absence of stroking or petting by their humans; changes in your work schedule, a new person in the house, lack of mental stimulation and loud noises- like construction next door. If you recognize any of these issues, its time to make an appointment with your vet. Your vet can rule out any underlying medical problem that can contribute to anxiety and stress. They can advise on behavioral modification and if necessary, medications that can ease suffering. They might also refer you to an animal behaviorist or a veterinary behaviorist, someone who specializes in behavior disorders, depending on the problem. In the meantime, there are actions you can take. Create a flexible routine of feeding, playing, or grooming- this includes activities like walking for dogs and litter box care for cats.Consider pheromone support when you expect changes like visitors, or a move. Your veterinarian can advise on their use.Mental stimulation- look for interactive toys, new objects to explore, hidden food, videotapes and music made for dogs and cats and games like hide and seek that engage your pet. Ten minutes of direct play daily can help reduce stress.Nutritional support- ask your vet about nutritional support and ensure your pet is on a well-balanced supportive diet. Broadreach Nature Relax and Calm is a veterinary formulation including B vitamins, L tryptophan, L theanine, calcium and magnesium and valerian root powder. The product supports mental health in cats and dogs, supporting healthy nerve and brain function and helps your pet cope with stress.