Dogs develop anxiety problems for various reasons including personality and fears or phobias. Dogs can develop anxiety in specific situations or environments and overcome it as soon as the environment changes. Some of the common symptoms of anxiety in dogs include excessive barking, increased aggression towards people or animals, and excessive licking. Some develop destructive behavior while others prefer to remain indoors through the day.
Dogs can overcome anxiety through training and conditioning. However, you need to identify the cause of anxiety to determine the right remedy. After identifying the cause of anxiety, you can help your dog overcome it in the following ways:
Physical exercise helps humans release tension and stress. The same natural remedy works in dogs. Exercise stimulates the production of serotonin, which is a feel-good hormone in both humans and dogs. Dogs release the tension and negative energy that comes with anxiety as they exercise. If you notice signs of anxiety in your dog, take the dog for a long walk, run, jog, or play a long game of fetch.
The traditional Thundershirt is still effective in relieving anxiety in dogs, especially travel anxiety. The Thundershirt is a tight-fitting garment that helps in calming the dog’s nerves by applying continuous pressure. The effectiveness of the Thundershirt largely depends on the dog’s personality and the root cause of anxiety.
3. Play Calming Music
Humans like to play soft music when feeling anxious or depressed. Dogs respond to calming music too. If a dog has separation anxiety, playing music or leaving the television on while the owner leaves can help to keep the dog calm. An alternative way is to play specialized music for anxious dogs. This type of music desensitizes the dog from the stimulus that causes anxiety like travel, separation, or loud noises.
Pet stores sell herbal supplements and treats such as cannabis dog treats that can relieve anxiety in dogs. Some of the ingredients in herbal supplements have a calming effect on a dog’s nerves. It is wise to consult your vet during regular check-ups before giving supplements, including natural supplements to your dog. The vet will advise you on the best supplement and dosage based on your dog’s health.
Dogs enjoy a relaxing massage, especially after long walks or runs. A good massage with long and slow strokes will go a long way in calming the dog’s nerves. Try circular motions throughout the with your fingers and hands as well. The good thing about giving your pet a massage is that it calms your nerves as well. Watch your dog’s response to the massage and discontinue if you notice signs of discomfort or irritation.
You can tell that your dog is suffering from anxiety by the reaction to a certain stimulus in the environment. A sudden change in behavior can also point to an anxiety problem. The tips outlined above are effective in soothing the dog’s nerves. However, you must find the method that works for your dog’s personality. You may require a combination of several remedies to help your dog overcome some fears or phobias.