No fur parent would want to see their dogs anxious. That is why they do their best to relieve anxiety in their dogs.
Humans experience anxiety, and dogs have no exemption to this. The condition might be unpleasant to hear, but it is a normal and healthy condition.
Anxiety can affect all dog breeds. However, emotion can affect each dog differently. It might be a condition that all dogs experience now and then;
if you leave disproportionate anxiety levels unchecked, your dog can develop an anxiety disorder later on. Beware that dog anxiety can result in different behavioral issues if left untreated.
What Are The Dog Anxiety Symptoms
There are several ways to tell if your furry buddy is experiencing anxiety. Below is a shortlist of dog anxiety symptoms to look out for:
- Defecating or urinating in the house
- Destructive behavior
- Excessive barking
- Compulsive or repetitive behaviors
Some of the above dog anxiety symptoms are a result of occasional anxiety-causing events. However, any of these symptoms become recurrent that can result in more severe issues.
What Are the Causes of Dog Anxiety
Beware that anxiety in your dog can have a variety of causes. Aging, fear, and separation are three of the most common reasons for this.
If your dogs are older, they are easily affected by age-related anxiety associated with cognitive dysfunction syndrome—your dogs’ memory, awareness, perception, and learning starts to declines. As a result, they experience anxiety and confusion.
Around 14% of dogs are affected by separation anxiety. If your furry buddies experience this type of anxiety, they cannot find comfort when you left them alone or are separated from their family.
Barking, destroying furnishings and furniture, and defecating or urinating in the house are undesirable behaviors associated with this anxiety.
Strange or new environments, visual stimuli like umbrellas and hats, strange animals or people, and loud noises can cause fear-related anxiety to dogs. Some dogs have brief reactions to these stimuli; others with anxiety are affected more consequently.
How to Relieve Dog Anxiety
If you suspect your dogs with anxiety, you can help them with the following methods:
1. Exercise Your Dogs
Exercise can relieve stress and anxiety in humans, and dogs can experience the same effects. As you exercise your dogs, you can help them lower the levels of separation anxiety, fear, and aggression.
If your furry best friends experience separation anxiety, you can ease their minds by not making them feel alone. You can use exercise to tire out your dog and as bonding time with him.
Since dogs’ anxiety causes an excess of energy, taking them out for a long walk or playing ball before leaving is helpful. Ensure to provide them with lots of physical contacts. You can also talk to them.
2. Give Your Dog A Massage
Just like humans, giving your dogs a massage can relieve stress, anxiety, and other negative emotions.
A massage can calm and relax anxious humans, and the good thing about it is that it also works with dogs. Keep in mind that muscle tensions often cause anxiety. As you give them a relaxing massive, you can alleviate this tension.
To give them a good massage:
- Start at their necks and then downward using long strokes.
- While your one hand works to massage, keep your other hand on the dog. You can determine where your dogs hold their stress over time.
- Continue working on that specific area.
3. Play Music for Your Dogs
When you are feeling stressed and anxious, you may usually play music to ease these negative emotions. The good news is that music therapy is also beneficial to your furry buddies.
Music can provide a relaxing and calming atmosphere at home, in the car, or even when you are away from them.
Music is also effective in alleviating noise sensitivity among dogs by blocking scary or street noises. These noises are known to bothersome dogs that can make them feel anxious.
Most dogs prefer listening to classical music. Harp music is a practical, natural sedative in hospice situations. You can also try playing Noah’s Harp: Surrender by Susan Raimond and Through A Dog’s Ear by Lisa Spector and Joshua Leeds to your dogs.
4. Give Your Dogs Lots of Physical Contacts
Sometimes, simple physical contact can already relieve anxiety in dogs. After all, there is probably nothing more calming and soothing to anxious dogs than your touch.
When giving your dogs physical contact, ensure to determine the signs of anxiety in them. After that, nip them in the bud by cuddling on the couch, picking them up, or simply giving them a long petting session.
That way, they also feel some security and that they are not alone.
5. Create A Sanctuary Space for Your Dogs
Beware that some dogs get very anxious in specific situations where no reward, praising, or calming can give them the necessary relief.
That is why they need a safe, quiet space without stimulation. So, they can forget about that anxious feeling and simply unwind.
Creating that kind of space for your dogs can help in multiple ways, especially when anxious about loud noise events like thunderstorms and fireworks and when someone visits your home.
As you isolate your dogs in a quiet and safe space, you can calm their frayed nerves. You can provide that space with low lights, calming music, and aromatherapy for better results.
You can take advantage of crates. These crates are designed to relieve a variety of dog anxiety symptoms.
It is advantageous if you could find a crate with noise cancellation, vibration isolation, and reduced light with reliable security and comfort.
6. Let Your Dogs Wear Calming T-Shirts or Coats
When you let your dogs wear calming coats or t-shirts, constant and mind pressure is applied to their torso. It surrounds your dogs just like a swaddling cloth on babies.
You can take advantage of these t-shirts or coats when your dogs are anxious about strangers, noise, separation, and travel.
Luckily, you can choose from various brands and models, depending on your dog’s size and needs. The Comfort Zone Calming Vest, American Kennel Club Stress Relief Coat, and ThunderShirt Anxiety Jacket are popular choices.
7. Try Different Alternative Therapies
Beware that there is still limited evidence that alternative products are beneficial to relieving anxiety in dogs.
However, several products are non-invasive and will not harm your pets. You can use the alternative products to provide therapies to your anxious dogs, whether used alone or combined with other methods above.
If you want to try these therapies in your dogs, ensure proper research and consult a veterinarian.
Many dog threats today contain supplements that help relieve anxiety. These supplements typically contain L-tryptophan, L-theanine, chamomile, thiamin, and melatonin. Some supplements also contain ginger elements to ease their sensitive stomach.
If humans benefit from aromatherapy, your pets can also benefit from it. You can find home diffusers that offer aromatherapy for dogs. Most of them use pheromones that are effective for eliminating fears.
The good thing about these diffusers is that they are easy to use. All you have to do is to plug it into your dog’s room.
Then, it will release an odorless scent that only your dog can smell. In other words, you cannot smell anything, even cats and other animals.
- Sound Machine
You can find a tool that combines aromatherapy and music therapy. The products help to calm anxious dogs by using olfactory and auditory senses.
The sound machine plays different calming loops, such as relaxing waves, babbling brook, flowing river, and more.
The machine also comes with essential oils proven to calm anxious dogs, including geranium, chamomile, lavender, and more.
This product is ideal for dogs with separation anxiety and noise sensitivity. It also helps them have a good night’s sleep.
- Flower Remedies
A combination of different flower extracts can help your dogs every time they feel negative emotions like stress and anxiety.
You can find this product that contains carefully selected ingredients such as clematis, impatiens, cherry plum, rock rose, star of Bethlehem, and many more.
The start of Bethlehem is perfect for pets that experienced abuse, trauma, or shock. Rockrose is known to be effective for dogs that experience panic or anxiety during going somewhere, thunderstorms, or fireworks.
This product is helpful for anxious pets. All you have to do is to add 2-4 drops to your dogs’ drinking water.
One of the most devastating experience for every pet parent is seeing their pet anxious. That is why you need to learn and avoid what caused stress and anxiety to your dogs.
If your pet already experienced anxiety, you can try the above methods.
If none of them is effective, it’s time for you to seek professional help and relieve their anxiety successfully. So, your furry buddies can go back to their everyday lives.