Dog anxiety management requires finding the root cause and learning all the tools and techniques to help reduce stress.
Balancing physical activity, mental stimulation, and good nutrition is essential for lowering dog anxiety and stress.
Combine different calming dog methods to maximize the results.
If you aren’t sure of the root cause of your dog’s anxiety, it’s best to investigate first. According to Dr. Katherine Houpt, the James Law Professor Emeritus of Behavior Medicine in the Department of Clinical Sciences, “In my experience, anxiety is used as a blanket description for anything that the dog does that the owner doesn't like.” Consult a vet before introducing calming medication, supplements, or intense exercise and mental stimulation.
Canine anxiety is tough to manage when you aren’t sure of your barking pal’s needs. These are some tools and techniques for dog anxiety to get you started. They range from investing in calming dog products to trying relaxing music and aromatherapy.
Calming Dog Beds
Calming dog beds, or the anti-anxiety dog bed, provide a secure and cozy space for dogs, helping to reduce their anxiety.
Your barking pal needs a space to feel safe enough to relax. Think of the areas of your home where they often like to lounge. It might be near the window, behind the sofa, or outside the kitchen. Wherever they linger is likely a place where they feel secure.
While massage and physical touch deliver the same amount of comfort calming dog beds do, you can’t pet your doggo 24/7 to keep them calm. The best dog beds for comfort and design should be eco-friendly and allergy-free. Be sure to consider your dog’s size to find the right fit.
Thunderstorms sometimes trigger fear-related anxiety, especially if your furry friend is sensitive to sound.
A ThunderShirt for dogs helps them feel secure. Making your dog feel safe is one of the primary elements of battling their anxiety. This vest applies gentle pressure to your dog's torso, helping to calm them down during stressful situations.
Applying consistent, comfortable pressure is the idea behind the Thundershirt, which helps deactivate the sympathetic nervous system. It’s the system responsible for fight or flight. The parasympathetic nervous system activates, triggering the calming effect needed to relax.
Unsurprisingly, most pets, like cats and dogs, don’t take kindly to traveling. A calming spray for dogs works to manage mild anxiety and stress.
Adaptil Diffuser is a calming spray for dogs that emits a synthetic version of the "dog appeasing pheromone," in other words, mother dog's natural nursing pheromones. It helps reduce stress and anxiety.
The Adaptil Dog Calming Pheromone Diffuser plugs into an outlet and covers up to 700 square feet. It’s an effective and drug-free solution for canine anxiety. Every application lasts roughly four to five hours. It helps reduce canine anxiety symptoms like panting, drooling, shaking, gagging, vomiting, or general restlessness.
PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher
Separation anxiety dog toys provide mental stimulation and a fun distraction for your doggo. If the daily walks aren’t cutting it, integrate some active toys into their routine.
Try the indoor/outdoor PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher. It distracts your dog while giving them exercise, thus reducing anxiety. Let’s be honest, it also gives your throwing arm a break. It’s designed with nine distance settings and six angle settings with a launching distance of between eight and 30 feet.
Built-in safety mechanisms allow users two rest modes. Choose 15 minutes of rest after 15 minutes of play or set up the automatic sleep mode after 30 minutes of playtime. It's great for dogs dealing with separation anxiety. Keeping them preoccupied and having fun while you’re gone helps them work out excess energy, lowering their stress and anxiety.
Photo source: Amazon.com
Bach’s Rescue Remedy is a homeopathic option for your pets’ stress relief. This natural remedy contains flower extracts that help to lower anxiety and stress in dogs, cats, and other pets. It’s a sedative-free tincture that eases tension, nervousness, and excitability.
Look to Rescue Remedy if you're a pet parent interested in all-natural ingredients. It’s a plant-based formula that's vegan and vegetarian. There’s no artificial flavoring, colors, or sugar. It’s made without major allergens, is gluten-free, and is non-habit forming. It’s safe to use for breeds of all ages and weights. Use it alongside other health and wellness treatment regimens.
Does your dog get anxious about storms, fireworks, or loud noises? These calming drops promote calmness and soothe your pets’ worries. How do you keep your dog calm for travel? If your pup suffers from anxiety every time you go for a car ride or have to take a plane, make sure to pack your Rescue Remedy. It’s safe to administer before, during, or after stressful events.
Photo source: Amazon.com
CBD oil, salves, ointments, and hemp oil are fast-growing natural and herbal remedies for chronic pain and anxiety. CBD oil has shown some promising calming effects for treating anxiety in dogs.
CBD oil is safe to ingest or use as a topical solution. If your dog suffers from medical or age-related anxiety, the calming effects of eating a CBD-infused dog treat may help. Double down on their needs and apply CBD salves or ointments to areas of their body that experience chronic pain, such as aching joints.
Try calming dog treats to promote relaxation and maintain emotional balance and disposition. Treating them to a calming Zen treat and their daily dose of CBD oil helps reduce anxiety. Medication and supplements are alternative methods of treating canine anxiety. With professional help and support, get safe access to trusted anxiety meds for dogs.
Regular exercise helps reduce anxiety in dogs by burning off excess energy and promoting relaxation. According to AKC, exercise is integral to a dog's physical health and mental well-being. Depending on the intensity, the physical activity is likely enough to deter your anxious doggo from picking up destructive behaviors.
Exercise, mental stimulation, and great nutrition typically meet all their holistic health needs. Not sure what type of exercises to introduce? Start with adding more daily walks. For the high-energy pups, invest in a PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher. Any type of dog toy that encourages them to stay active is a plus.
Toys or games that force them to think critically while remaining active are perfectly mentally stimulating options. Brain games aid in the improvement of their mood, battle boredom, and relieve stress. A few popular tips include obstacle courses, interactive chew toys, food puzzles, or hide and seek.
For folks struggling to treat their dog’s anxiety, it might be time for expert intervention, like behavioral training. Working with a professional dog trainer may help you identify and address the root causes of your dog's anxiety.
Behavioral training sometimes consists of desensitization and counter-conditioning. Crate training and confinement are calming methods to try for travel-related anxiety.
Obedience training to keep your dog on track is another method of teaching them how to behave and remain calm. If your pup excites easily, they might be “hard of hearing,” or they don’t listen very well. Consult an expert dog trainer for the best training methods to calm your hyperactive doggo.
Playing calming music or white noise may soothe dogs during periods of anxiety. Research published by Abigail Lindig, Paul McGreevy, and Angela Crean found that “exposure to classical music appears to have a calming influence on dogs in stressful environments.”
Combining sound therapy with massage and physical touch also promotes deeper relaxation. Close contact strengthens the bond between you and your pets.
Not every pet responds the same way to music. Curate a playlist specific to your dog, keeping them preoccupied, incorporating the sounds of nature and other animals.
Did you know relaxing music and aromatherapy pair well? If you want to combine music therapy with massage and aromatic scents, do it. The benefits are often immediate and lasting. It's no surprise if your doggo falls asleep as your eyelids begin to droop too.
Use essential oils like lavender and chamomile to help calm and reduce anxiety. If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, start the day by diffusing calming oils in the background. Try the slow-release or timed diffusers if you’re gone for long hours. They should remain calm the whole time you’re out. Give your pup some extra love by combining relaxing music and aromatherapy.
Stay Calm and Play On
It may be challenging to navigate an effective treatment plan without understanding the different methods for battling dog anxiety. Not every pet parent cares for crate training and confinement or desensitization and counter-conditioning training. Get professional help and support while trying these tools and techniques for dog anxiety management.
Whether you have a large playful doggo or a fun-loving yapper, meeting all their physical, mental, and emotional needs does wonders for stress reduction and battling anxiety.
For more information on how to treat dog anxiety, be sure to subscribe to Calming Dog. Stay up-to-date on the most effective methods for keeping your dog calm.