Best Ways to Calm Your Dog

Best Ways to Calm Your Dog

Is Your Dog Prone to Anxiety?

Whether you have a miniature Poodle, mini Aussie doodle or Australian shepherd mix-breed, or any breed of dog, they are sensitive and can suffer from stress and anxiety. Both humans and dogs alike can deal with anxiety. However, many dog owners wonder what are some of the best ways to treat or help them. Are there any tools we can use that can alleviate the symptoms of such conditions in dogs? Pet health is among the many indicators that they suffer from separation anxiety or some health problem. Regardless of the breed of dog, you will want to know how to treat and even manage the symptoms such as stress or anxiety in dogs. 

aussie dog outdoors with leaves falling

Among the most common is separation anxiety which almost 20% of dogs suffer from according to thefarmersdog.com. They further explain that out of all dogs left home alone while their owners were out of the house, 80% suffer from some form of anxiety including separation anxiety. A study by Dr. Flannagan and Dr. Dogman found some distressing behavior patterns in dogs suffering from stress. For example, 71% showed destructive behavior as a common characteristic of anxiety disorder in dogs. Other behavior changes include loss of appetite, whining, and restlessness among many others. These behavioral patterns are signs that a dog is dealing with emotional stress and anxiety. These indicators are noticeable and part of some genetic predispositions but every dog breed uses this as a way to let you know something is needed whether it be therapy, dietary changes, or even some improvements in your pup's environment. Each of these is an important factor and can let you know where to begin to make the changes needed. Here are a few more clues about a distressed pup. 

Dogs with Anxiety and Stress

One of the biggest challenges we face with our furry companions is understanding what they are feeling and how we can help. Just like humans, dogs can also suffer from stress or anxiety which can produce behavior such as whining, shaking, and aggression. It is also common for dogs to lash out and have destructive tendencies when unwell. According to the CCSPA, you may also notice a stressed dog retreating a lot, increasing hostile behavior, and disrupting eating habits, among others. That is why it is very important to notice the signs and patterns of an anxious dog. Here we will look at different types and causes of anxiety or stress and how best to care for such conditions. 

Separation Anxiety

One of the most common forms of anxiety found in dogs is separation anxiety. The increased worry and agitation found in dogs fearful of being away from you happens in nearly every breed of dog. To them, you are their source of food, shelter, and companionship. Separation anxiety occurs when they aren't accustomed to being on their own. Dogs can feel immediate stress in such situations where routines have been altered or when traveling for long periods. The good news is there are ways to improve and treat dogs suffering from anxiety. Leaving them isolated can increase or make them prone to emotional agitation. Both young and old dogs can suffer from anxiety according to Tufts Animal Behavior Clinic. This suggests the needed awareness early on to prevent anxiety in young pups as well as older dogs. 

dog sitting outdoors smiling

Loss of Appetite in Anxious Dogs

Optimizing your pet's health is a top priority much more so if they are in distress. Making sure your dog is healthy means the likelihood of a happy dog. Malnourishment can produce severe anxiety in dogs. However, an already stressful dog will cause serious symptoms such as a decrease in appetite. Such issues can be highly worrisome for dog owners. It is important to look for various symptoms to see if your dog suffers emotional issues. Any changes in appetite are cause for concern. If your dog is eating less and less to a noticeable degree, it could be suffering from a stress-related illness. 

According to pets.webmd.com, dogs on average eat about 60% to 70% of the food contained in packages. However, take into consideration how serious and sustained loss of appetite in dogs can manifest as a result of anxiety. Be aware to notice the patterns and take action. The sooner you are aware of what to watch for, the more you can avoid or even prevent a serious health problem from getting worse. It's best to address the issue soon with the appropriate changes which could require environmental or dietary changes. Routine care and awareness of the health concern are the first steps to treating anxious dogs which we'll discuss here. 

Destructive Behavior

Another distressing behavior change for an anxious dog is very destructive behavior. Often known as one of the main indicators of stress. 1stpetvet.com suggests that "dogs who express their stress with destruction need pet parents who provide them with greater security". This is evidence that your pet is feeling unwell and experiencing emotional pain. There are various recommended treatments for dogs such as spending more time with them or training them can help. Sometimes, stricter and established rules may be required for an unruly pet. Make sure they understand what they can or can't do. Remember, an overall health plan includes more than physical training. Read on for more tools and tips to calm your dog. 

Treating Your Dog's Anxiety or Stress

Now let's look at some ways to help care for and treat a stressed or anxious dog. Disturbing behavior changes in dogs can cause anxiety for pet owners as well. Making sure you spot all the signs is the first step. What conditions are in place than necessitate therapy? Are they comfortable at home or when traveling? What about their diet? These are just a few questions one must ask among others when dealing with a stressed animal. Consider what tools are available that can alleviate an anxious dog and provide the most comfortable atmosphere. Are there specific things I can use to soothe them? Thankfully, there are plenty of resources and products available specifically made to bring an anxious dog to life. There may not be a cure or one-stop fix but using the following routine care with these tips and tricks can vastly improve your dog's behavior and greatly decrease their anxiety.

Traveling with an Anxious Dog

According to a study by the National Center for Biotechnology and Medicine, transportation can be very stressful for a wide range of domestic animals including dogs. Travel by both air and land increases stress and anxiety for pets. Changes in the environment and routine can cause discomfort, particularly in specific breeds of dogs. Given the right tools, any pet owner will be able to address the issue and manage their dogs' worries and tension. With this information and recommended treatments, you and your pup will be able to have a calm travel experience that is stress-free and fun. 

aussie puppies outside

Dog Breeds Most Vulnerable to Environmental Stress

Is your breed of dog most susceptible to stress due to environmental changes? According to that same study by the National Center of Biotechnology and Medicine, brachycephalic dog breeds are found to have an increased chance of death during travel due to environmental stress with certain genetic predispositions. This breed of dog is growing in popularity across the United States. According to the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association and the American Kennel Club, two brachycephalic breeds were listed in its top 10 most popular breeds, and eight brachycephalic breeds in the top 31 most popular breeds. One should be aware of certain characteristics and predispositions for these popular pups and breed info is critical. Types of brachycephalic dog breeds are French Bulldogs, Bulldogs, Boxers, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Shih Tzus, Boston Terriers, Mastiffs, and Pugs.

How to Improve Your Dog's Environment When Traveling

You will want to avoid as much as possible any stressful situations which can create negative behavioral changes. However, there are times when such conditions must change. If traveling with a dog, it is recommended to keep them as safe and as comfortable as possible for optimum and good care along the way. Using a specific carrier that is spacious and convenient for you and your pet would offer amazing results. Let's talk about one of the best ways to accommodate an anxious dog while traveling. We suggest the Calming Carrier Plus+. This product is designed for a pleasurable traveling experience with plenty of room and a soft, and cozy mat. A spacious travel case is essential for calming your pet when on the road. This carrier offers roomy space for them to feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible. If you want to make sure you have a comfortable traveling experience for your pet, the Calming Carrier Plus+ is highly recommended for good care if there is a health concern. 

Create a Safe and Comfortable Environment

When not on the go, the home environment must be as relaxing and stress-free as possible. Make sure that your dog will have a place to rest, sleep and relax when at home. This is one of the best ways to keep a calm and happy dog. The place where your dog sleeps should be a source of comfort. It is recommended to find a soothing bed that improves the atmosphere of the dog when in your home. For example, a cozy dog bed would be a great addition to the home. You want to find one that is pressure-relieving, made of quality materials, and supports any size animal. A great choice would be the Calming Cuddle Bed Plus+ Memory Foam Bed. Your dog will have a restful experience with this product. This helps you to make sure that they have as serene rest as possible with a guarantee of a decrease in any agitation or stress. Made from high-quality materials to provide a soothing and relaxing environment and is a great addition to a treatment plan for an anxious dog. Highly recommended. 

aussie sitting on the side of car door

Pet Health and What to Watch For 

Yes, what your dog eats most certainly affects their behavior and medical condition. According to Today's Veterinary Nurse, the pet food not only determines and aids in physical ailments of dogs such as diabetes or other such illnesses but "now addresses emotional disorders such as anxiety". A combination of the right healthy nutrients can improve emotional instability. Just like humans require proper dieting for a variety of emotional issues, the same can be applied to our furry companions. Food and diet are factors and something to seriously consider if you want to nurture and calm an anxious dog. Petmed.com also suggests specific ingredients found to be of highly beneficial use. Great improvement is shown in anxiety-ridden dogs when given the right supplements.

Studies have shown that specific compounds help to reduce and decrease emotional stress in dogs. For instance, Today's Veterinary Nurse recommends l-Tryptophan, an amino acid that affects emotions by decreasing and balancing their effects. Additionally, l-Theanine, another amino acid, was also found to greatly improve mood. Found in a plant called Camilla sinesis, this ingredient is proven to aid as a stress relaxer in both humans and dogs. This would be a key component in any diet for distressed dogs. While it is important to note that supplements or dietary changes alone aren't a cure or fix for dogs with anxiety, combined with other treatments and methods can make for a wonderful healing treatment.

What Can You Give Your Dog For Anxiety

Dogs with certain health issues such as anxiety or stress can create a confusing and often heartbreaking situation for owners. Often one finds themselves having the difficult choice of which treatment would offer the best and safest remedy for a dog in distress. The good news is there are healthy alternatives to offer any dog of any breed the best care possible. Consider the nutritional options available. While there is a myriad of choices for your ailing pup that can be overwhelming, look for a product that offers relief such as Zen Chews. These yummy treats offer the essential ingredients needed for a calming change in dogs. 

Included in its highly effective agents are Chamomile, L-Theanine, and L-Tryptopha. Dogs suffer from loneliness and isolation just like humans which can of course increase nervousness and tension. Just like humans take natural remedies to alleviate such emotional pain, so can dogs benefit as well. Products that improve their diet and are a natural source of stress relief are a great way to combat this health problem and create a healthier and happier pup. 

Routine Care for Anxious Dogs

Part of your dog's routine is having plenty of fresh, crisp clean water available. Another factor to consider is the loss of interest in drinking water. An anxious dog will not only lose their appetite for food but water as well. Making sure your dog has clean water available at any time is important. A thirsty dog can also cause an increase in stress and anxiety, which indicates a health problem. To be sure your dog is sufficiently quenching their thirst, look for a product that offers things like a triple filtration system and an LED light indicator for night-time use and holds up to 2.4L of water like the highly recommended Calming Fountain Plus+. According to PetMed.com, dogs need at least 1 ounce or so of water per pound they weigh. And sometimes, not enough water can create further problems in an already tense pet. All happy and stable dogs need plenty of nutrients and clean water daily as part of a healthy life for any dog breed.

dog outside catching frisbee

In conclusion, if your dog is prone to anxiety or stress, there are tools you can use to help care for and treat them. Whether at home or traveling with your beloved companion, there are ways to manage, treat and even improve a stressed pet. Great products are available that offer comfort and relaxing beds, nutritious and calming food, and clean drinking water for dogs. If your dog suffers from stress or separation anxiety, hope is not lost and there are resources and products available to alleviate their emotional pain. Remember, just like humans, dogs feel and have emotions that need to be addressed. They feel worried if left alone and anxious if there is any change to the environment. Like humans, they want to feel safe, secure, comfortable, and happy. Make sure you watch for signs of an anxious dog and seek ways to improve their health. Pet health is of top priority and one of the main ways to treat emotional distress in dogs and any underlying health issues. 

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