Just like humans, dogs can also have anxiety. In most cases, it is separation anxiety - when your dog feels on the edge every time you are not around. However, it can also be connected with the fear of loud noises, unknown objects, strangers, and some other causes.
Unfortunately, your pet cannot voice its worries over. For that reason, you need to be attentive and detect dog anxiety symptoms timely. This will allow you to help your four-legged companion out when in need.
Below, you will find tips for calming an anxious dog down, ranging from exercising with your dog, identifying and removing triggers, and using CBD products to trying music therapy and buying the best calming chews for dogs. Read on and be a responsible pet owner!
Exercising With Your Dog
It is a common belief that physical activity is the best way to help your dog feel better. And indeed, it is true. Exercising helps lower stress levels and also has a great impact on your dog’s mental health. In order to keep the pet’s anxiety at bay, you should take it for long walks or play a game of fetch.
What’s more, exercising with your dog also helps you identify triggers or environmental factors that make your pet anxious, which is especially useful if you are trying to cope with separation anxiety.
If your pet suffers from separation anxiety, it is better to walk him in the morning or evening, when the surroundings are less crowded. You can also try walking him with a second dog, or one of your family members.
Identify and Remove Triggers
Another useful tip for helping you calm an anxious dog down is identifying and removing triggers. It is not always easy to recognize the causes of anxiety in dogs, especially if they are not well trained. Therefore, it may take you some time to figure out what makes your pet anxious.
Here are some of the most common triggers:
- Too many people around your dog: Even though dogs are social animals, too many people around them can be overwhelming. They feel stressed and scared for no apparent reason, which often leads to anxiety. To help your pet, make sure that you do not leave it alone with strangers during its fearful periods.
- Being touched in certain areas: Some dogs get anxious when being touched in specific areas of their bodies. For example, some dogs hate it when somebody touches their tails or paws.
- Strangers: Dogs are not used to meeting strangers and that is perfectly normal. However, if it bothers them too much and they start acting aggressively towards people even when they have met one before already, then it could be a sign of anxiety. Make sure that you introduce unfamiliar people to your pet slowly and gradually until it finally realizes that strangers don’t pose any threat.
Trying Music Therapy
Music therapy is another great way to help calm down an anxious dog. This method has been proven to be very effective in cases where mood swings occur due to stressful situations rather than serious mental illnesses.
According to studies conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, music can significantly reduce stress levels in dogs. However, you need to choose the right kind of music in order for it to work properly.
Experts recommend playing classical music, as it is often used by vets when giving injections, for example. However, you can also play any music that makes your pet feel relaxed and calm down more efficiently.
Using CBD Products
CBD products have been proven to be effective for treating a variety of anxiety disorders in animals. Although it is not a drug, CBD is capable of interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for regulating mood and stress levels.
However, it is important to note that you should consult with your vet before using CBD products for your pet. In some cases, they may cause negative reactions such as vomiting or diarrhea.
Things to look for when choosing a CBD product for your dog include:
- Ingredients: It is important that a product has only natural ingredients as synthetic ones can lead to negative health effects. Some ingredients you should look for include organic coconut oil, MCT oil, hemp oil, and cannabidiol (CBD).
- Lab Testing: Not all products are created equal. Some may contain harmful ingredients and chemicals, while others may deliver inconsistent results. For that reason, you should always choose a product that has undergone lab testing before being sold.
- Reviews: Make sure to check reviews from previous users of the product in question before buying it. This will allow you to know how other people experience the product and whether its claims are valid or not.
As you can see, there are many ways to help you calm an anxious dog down. However, you need to be responsible and make sure that your pet is not suffering from any serious disease. If the symptoms persist, you should definitely consult with your vet.
In most situations, though, the reason behind your dog’s behavior is probably separation anxiety. In that case, you can try calming it down using the techniques mentioned above.