Anxiety can be a real issue for some dogs, especially those easily stressed. Dogs that suffer from anxiety will often be quieter than normal and avoid social situations. Let’s dive into this post from WhichChoose to know how to help an anxious dog!
What Are Dog Anxiety Symptoms?
Before answering the question “How to help a dog with anxiety?”, you should know some dog anxiety symptoms. Knowing the common signs of your dog can help you figure out what causes the nervous or anxious reactions.
Here are some dog anxiety symptoms:
- Urinating or defecating in the house.
- Pacing or restlessness.
- Excessive licking.
- Excessive whining.
- Panting or drooling excessively.
- Digging or scratching repetitively.
- Compulsive behaviors like unusual chewing.
- Trembling or shaking.
- Excessive barking and howling.
When your dog becomes anxious and stressed, this anxiety manifests in symptoms that imitate misbehavior. If your dog is suffering from some common nervousness symptoms, you will wonder what you can do to assist it.
What Is Dog’s Anxiety And What Causes It?
Separation anxiety occurs when a dog hyper-attached to its owner gets super-anxious when left alone. It is more than a bit of whining when you go or a little mischief while you are out. It is a negative condition, one of the primary reasons owners feel frustrated with their dogs and give them up.
Many scenarios can lead dogs to experience stress, as follows:
- Being separated from their owner (separation anxiety).
- A new pet.
- A strange artifact was brought into the home (e.g. Halloween masks).
- The arrival of a new baby.
- The moving of furniture.
- Wildlife or birds outside.
- Noises from outside (e.g. thunderstorms or fireworks).
How To Help An Anxious Dog?
Here are 8 best ways to help an anxious dog:
3.1. Identify The Cause Of The Anxiety And Try To Remove
Knowing triggers for separation linked to behaviors can be pretty difficult because numerous behavior occurs when your dog is on their own. If this happens, you can set up a camera that helps you see your dog’s actions when you are not beside them. This footage will help you accurately identify any particular environmental triggers that may contribute to your dog’s behavior, like the sound of loud cars, trucks, and people passing the house or the sound of the dog’s neighbor barking.
Separation related to issues usually show itself as numerous different behaviors depending on the cause; therefore, it is essential to know what to seek.
3.2. Find A Positive Reinforcement Dog Trainer
Finding a positive reinforcement dog trainer is one of the answers to the question, “How to calm anxiety in a dog?”. Modern trainers have learned that many overwhelming dogs who bark at, lunge at, and combat other dogs and humans are not doing so as they want to be “pack leaders” or are “dominant”. They do it because they are scared. A frightened dog, who feels like it can not escape, will change to aggression to “get him before he gets me.” When we know that fear is the root of aggression, we know to prevent trainers who tame aggressive dogs by dominating them.
A dog not scared of other dogs doesn’t fight or bark. Hurting a dog with anxiety does not help them from being scared; it just makes them more anxious. Therefore, you need to change the emotion, and you will change the behavior. Seek a good dog trainer, perfectly one who is certified by CCPDT and follows positive reinforcement, and you can work together to make it better.
3.3. Use Anxiety Relief Dog Supplement
Using an anxiety relief dog supplement is the best way to calm dog with anxiety. Calming products include ingredients that promote relaxation, which may reduce mild to moderate cases of anxiety. However, you should talk to your vet before purchasing any calming supplements.
One of the best calming dog supplements you can consider is Reggie Anytime Calming. This product is vet-approved and made from natural ingredients. Moreover, Anytime Calming is a scientifically-created solution to dog anxiety, calms hyperactivity, and regulates the sleep cycle.
3.4. Consider Medication
How to calm an anxious dog? You should consider other medications. Although some vets are good at calming aggressive and nervous dogs, others are still old school; they do not listen to pet owners and use rough and invasive handling. There’re new techniques for vets addressing stressful dogs. For example, Dr. Sophia Yin developed a new program for vets that concentrates on low-stress handling, which can significantly affect your dog’s stress levels.
3.5. Learn Your Dog’s Body Language
Your dog usually communicates how they feel, and the better you understand what they want to say, the easier it can be to prevent anxious situations. Something fine last week may be too much for them to tackle today because of a trigger stacking phenomenon. To avoid this phenomenon, you should check for symptoms that tell you how your dog feels.
3.6. Provide Your Dog With A Safe Hideout
Always ensure your dog has somewhere comfortable and safe they can come when they feel overwhelmed. This is particularly useful during Halloween and the firework season. If your dog hides away in their hideout, you must avoid disturbing them.
3.7. Say No To Punishment
If your dog’s anxiety or stress leads them to behave destructively, you avoid punishing them. In your dog’s mind, punishment makes the stressful situation more stressful; their stress will worsen, causing more destructive behavior in the long run.
3.8. Know Your Limits
If you’ve done all you can to calm your dog’s stress and anxiety and their symptoms persist, you talk to your local vet. There are many treatments available for anxiety and stress in dogs, and they will happily give a piece of advice on how to aid your furry friend.
How To Stop Dogs From Being Anxious
Dogs and puppies that get less social and environmental exposure may become habitually afraid. That is why it is essential to expose puppies to various social environments and situations when they are young (over the time they’re 14 weeks of age) to reduce the chances of afraid behavior.
Dog anxiety can be especially frustrating to both pet owner and dog. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to help ease your dog’s anxiety, as mentioned above, like using anxiety relief dog products, considering medication, etc. If you have any concerns about helping your dog, leave a comment below, and we will try our best to answer these! WhichChoose hopes you enjoyed reading about “how to help an anxious dog.”
-  Frank D. Aggressive dogs: What questions do we need to ask https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3659447/
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