Although we may not always think so, our animals aren’t that different from us. They feel happy, sad, frustrated, and even anxious! Canines can display anxiety through many behaviors, including destructiveness, aggressiveness, or shyness. Knowing how to calm your pup is important to their overall health and the well-being of your household. Find out what the canine pros recommend regarding how to lessen anxiety in your dog.
Understand Why They’re Experiencing Anxiety
One of the first things you should do is find out what triggers your pup’s anxiety. Some of the following factors are common causes of anxiety in dogs:
- Boredom due to lack of stimulation
- Neglect or abuse
- Separation anxiety
- Loud sounds
Anxious dogs often excessively lick themselves, avoid eye contact, pace, or pant more than usual. It’s also important to note that stress affects the canine nervous system, and increases or decreases in stress hormones can impact glucose levels.
Enrich Their Life
Enrichment activities do wonders for dogs by working their minds and bodies. If you tire your dog out with fun games, they have less energy for stress, which makes for a happier pooch! Aim to go for regular walks and play a few rounds of fetch daily.
If the weather makes this difficult, you could teach your pup a new trick or play a thrilling game of hide and seek—make your dog stay so that you can hide, then call out to them to find you. When training your dog something new, there are various teaching tips you should know to keep the process fun for you both.
Train Your Pup
Another key tip for preventing anxiety in dogs is to help them retrain their brains. While learning tricks helps enrich your pup’s life, other types of training can help with anxiety. If your dog has stress related to specific triggers, like seeing nail clippers, give them a treat any time you show them the object. Then, slowly build your way up to clipping their nails in exchange for those doggy treats.
Remember to use high-value treats when rewarding your dog—these are the treats they respond to the most. This is verbal praise and affection for some dogs, but for others, it’s a tasty biscuit or treat, such as dehydrated liver.
Give Your Dog Space
Overstimulation can also stress your dog out. For instance, when you host a party, your pup may search for a quiet hiding place. This is because there are a lot of sounds and smells that can be overwhelming to their keen senses. Your pup should always have a private space to escape to.
Schedule a Trip to the Vet
In most cases, this is a last-ditch effort and only used for a severe case of canine anxiety. The vet will evaluate your dog and its anxiety levels to assess all possible treatment options. If necessary, then they may prescribe your pup medication.
Taking care of your dog is vital, and with their stress levels reduced, they’ll feel ready to enjoy countless adventures with you!