Dogs With Anxiety And Fear: How To Relax Your Furry Friend
If you are the proud owner of a canine, you know that your dog is much more than just a pet. Dogs can easily become part of the family, and just like any other family member, you want them to be well taken care of and in good hands.
And sometimes, dogs can suffer from anxiety and stress just like people do, especially when traveling or adjusting to a new setting. To keep your furry friend from freaking out, follow these suggested tips.
What Type Of Anxiety Does Your Dog Have?
Dogs can get very anxious for a multitude of reasons. Identifying what your dog is scared of is the first step to proper treatment.
Separation Anxiety: Dogs are very loving animals, so they may get depressed when you are not around. As pack animals, they naturally want to always be included, and feeling left out is one of their greatest fears.
While you are away, your dog may be home alone with nothing to do but think about how much it wants to be out with you. This feeling of separation anxiety may cause your dog to lash out at your home, including chewing up furniture, gnawing excessively on its paws and tail, whining or desperately trying to break out of its enclosure. If any of these destructive actions sound familiar, your dog may suffer from separation anxiety.
Car Anxiety: Some dogs are deathly afraid of car rides. This may be because they do not like the feeling of being in a movie vehicle or because all of their trips in the car have been to somewhere miserable, such as the vet. Dogs that have car anxiety will often pace around the car restlessly or constantly whine and bark.
Fear Of Noise: Dogs have an acute sense of hearing, so noises that are loud to the human ear are even louder to them. If high volume noises like fireworks, sirens and thunder send your pup running for cover, then it possesses a fear of noise.
What Can You Do To Help?
Your dog depends on you, its faithful owner, to take care of it even during times of fear. Although these anxieties seem untreatable, there are actually many ways you can help your dog out at home and spend little to no money.
How To Cure Separation Anxiety
- Regular Exercise: Exercise is a great way to calm down your dog. A good run in the morning will be good for both you and your furry friend. Your dog will get in shape, and it will be so exhausted that it won’t even have enough energy to be upset.
- Staying Calm: Make all of your greetings incredibly calm. It can be hard to ignore your dog when it is jumping and barking to welcome you home. Simply ignore all actions until it calms down and then allow a greeting. It will learn over time that being calm is the key to getting your attention.
- Gain Trust: Let your dog know when you will be gone for a short time. Make up a cue like “Stay” or “We’ll be back” to show your dog that you will only be gone for a short time. Make sure that you only use this if you will indeed be back shortly, or else your dog will not trust you with this cue any more.
- Anxiety Wrap: Use an anxiety wrap. These are little jacket-like objects that your dog can wear. The tight fit stimulates the dog’s body just like swaddling a baby and reassures it that everything is okay. This is also great for treating car anxiety.
How To Cure Car Anxiety
- Disassociate From Negativity: Take your dog on short rides to somewhere fun. Go to the dog park and let it play or make a trip to see a loved family member. This way, it won’t associate car rides with shots or any other less-than-favorable actions.
- Collar With Pheromones: Buy your dog a calming collar. These collars emit pheromones that are similar to what mother dogs emit to calm down their puppies.
How To Cure Fear Of Noise
- Treats For Loud Noises: Give your dog a treat when it hears a loud noise. This can be hard to time, but if you can manage, it will eventually associate loud noises with yummy treats.
- Calming Supplements: If you know there will be a lot of loud noises, such as fireworks on the Fourth of July or a raging thunderstorm, give him a calming supplement beforehand. Calm supplements have ingredients that will help your pup calm down ahead of time so it isn’t so panicked when the noise begins.
Sometimes, dogs have severe cases of anxiety and may need to be prescribed a medication. In this case, make sure you check with your vet to see if he or she can do anything to help as well.