Anxiety can keep your dog from enjoying life and even be stressful to you as the owner. Anxiety happens for many reasons, including noises and stress in your dog’s environment.
If your dog is suffering from anxiety problems, here are some steps for you to take to relieve your pet’s symptoms.
1. Exercise Your Dog
Your dog must get a good amount of exercise daily. Failure to exercise the dog could lead to some health problems or aggression. Exercising helps the dog to burn down the extra energy they have accumulated. This way, the dog will calm down and be less agitated.
2. Talk to the Vet
If your dog is experiencing some health issues, such as loose bowels, try visiting a vet or a certified professional for help.
Many vitamins and probiotics are available on the market. Some vets may recommend gabapentin for dogs, which is effective for anxious dogs.
3. Don’t Force Your Dog Into Uncomfortable Surroundings
Forcing your dog to interact with people or doing things that are too much for them to handle can cause anxiety. They become fearful of new surroundings and the people they meet. Try setting up a cozy spot at home where the dog can go if they are feeling overwhelmed or anxious.
4. Consider Music Therapy
A dog can be affected by music too. Certain music can help your dog relax and feel better. Classical music and jazz are some of the genres that are effective in calming down anxious dogs.
5. Keep Your Dog Socialized
Do not leave your dog alone for long periods, making them more anxious. Find someone to stay with them, a neighbor or a family member that can come and keep your dog company during the lonely hours.
6. Give Them a Massage
A massage doesn’t only work for humans, as it has similar relaxing effects for your pet. If you notice your dog is anxious, try giving him a massage to calm him down. Focus on the area around his neck and back until he shows signs of calming down.
7. Create a Safe Area for Your Dog’s Comfort
Create a small corner in your house where your dog can be at its convenience. Ensure the place is away from busy and loud places, which can cause stress and anxiety for your dog.
8. Speak Softly to Your Dog
Dogs can understand human speech and emotions. When you care for your dog, speak slowly and calmly. Consider also using calming tones of voice, as dogs can be very sensitive to stress. If you raise your voice, you risk making the condition worse. Be welcoming and praise or give the dog a treat when he does something correctly.
9. Feed Them the Right Food
If a dog suffers from anxiety, you must give them a healthy diet. Avoid giving your dog “junk food,” which contains a high amount of sugar and salt that can cause stress. Also, such foods may keep their bodies from functioning properly.
10. Use the Correct Body Language
Dogs have a similar emotional system as humans. The way you treat your pet can help relieve its anxiousness. Touching, hugging, or even talking to your dog can help ease the stress.
If your dog is feeling anxious, he will hide and will feel terrified of you or the situation. Give signs that are less threatening but more assuring that the dog is in a safe place, and he can trust you.
11. Consider Obedience Training
Teach your dog to obey orders from you, such as “sit” and “stay.” This will make things easier for you and give you a sense of security that the dog will respond to your instructions. Additionally, it will help calm them down by giving them a distraction, like a toy.
12. Implement Situation Avoidance
If your dog has been diagnosed with anxiety, it will help to avoid situations that might trigger the condition. For example, you may avoid having unfamiliar guests over until the dog has completed treatment.
You can also redirect the anxiety-ridden behavior. If your dog is shaking, petting him on the back and saying “calm down” will help him learn to relax with a positive response.
13. Stay Calm When Around Your Dog
If you are trying to get your dog to relax, it is best to act calm and non-threatening around the dog. The worse you look when anxious, the more anxious the dog will get, especially if you are around people or other dogs.
Anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that needs to be treated by an experienced veterinarian. Also, you play a big role in determining your dog’s recovery from this condition. Provide a safe environment and show support to help your dog recover quickly.