How to calm anxious dogs
There are lots of things that can make a dog anxious, including recent fights with other animals, being left while the family goes on vacation or a recent medical trauma. Whatever the cause, remember that all dogs can suffer from anxiety for a wide range of reasons. Anxiety can cause your dog to destroy belongings around your home, be seen to be trembling, to withdraw from interaction, and develop over grooming behaviors but there are ways to alleviate anxiety.
Anxiety in dogs can be caused by an excess of stored energy and no way to get rid of it. Each dog's exercise quota will be different, but in general, the majority should have a minimum of half an hour of exercise each day, and those that are energetic could need at least 2 hours.
Dog massage is something you are able to do yourself or you can take your dog to a professional. Massage has been shown to help with anxiety. Petting is also a great way to calm them down as they are likely to feel safest in your company and with your touch.
Hemp products are great for calming down dogs and a recent study showed that over 80% of dog owners using them saw an improvement.
Separation anxiety is common when the dog becomes bored and doesn’t know what to do when you are not there. By leaving your dog with treats or toys when you leave, they will see you leaving as a positive thing because of the reward they receive. It could take a while, however over time the dog will learn to look forward to the treat rather than dread your departure.
Just like humans, animals respond to music. By playing music during a thunderstorm or leaving it on when you leave the house, it could help to alleviate their anxiety.
In some cases, dogs need a safe space to be able to alleviate their anxiety. Ensure they have a safe place they can go to so that they are able to relax without interruption. When they are ready to come back out, they will do so in a better mood.
As much as the body needs exercise, so also the dog’s brain needs to be exercised or they get bored. You can teach them tricks and incorporate their training into walks. This can exhaust your pet mentally so that they are unable to feel stressed and they just want to rest.
At home, you can wrap your dog in a tight blanket to help them feel secure, but remember to never leave them alone when you do so.
If you have tried every method to calm your dog down and find that your dog is still showing signs of anxiety, then it may be worth taking them to the vet. The veterinarian could find that a medical cause is behind their behavior and be able to treat it. It is natural for all dogs to become anxious every so often or when faced with a certain situation, but most anxiety causes can be treated at home.
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