Anxiety is an unpleasant emotion for dogs just like it’s for us. However, it’s also a normal and healthy emotion.
Anxiety affects every dog and every breed differently. It can hit them from time to time in varying degrees. However, if it’s exceeding the proportion, get it checked otherwise it may develop into an anxiety disorder. It is important to get them the treatment on time because, when left untreated, anxiety disorders can often lead to behavioral issues.
How to Treat Anxiety in Dogs?
There are several ways to support anxious dogs and make them happy and healthy. In this blog, we bring you some of the ways that can treat your dog's anxiety. Let’s have a look at some of the proven ways.
Various dogs develop separation anxiety. The most obvious way to deal with it is never to leave them alone. However, we cannot be practically available to them 24 hours a day, so tiring out your dog to sleep is a great way to deal with it.
Exercise helps both ways - strengthen your bond with them and make them tired. Taking your dog out for a long walk or to the garden to play can also be helpful. During exercise, keep them in your physical contact as much as possible and talk to them all the time. As an additional benefit, exercising also produces endorphins in their body that help relieve stress.
Separation anxiety worsens when the dog spends alone time and associates it with something negative. It is needed to change the association of your dog with alone time. Providing them with something they love during their alone time can work out here.
Leave your doggo with fun food puzzles or any other of his favorite games. It keeps your dog occupied for longer.
Increase the time of your separation gradually, only if it is manageable at short intervals.
If your dog gets anxious because of some noise, the association of it with good things can be helpful.
If your dog is afraid to travel in any vehicle, break the travel with small halts. Make them comfortable with traveling in multiple stages - on the first day, get them near the car, reward them; next day, make them sit into the car, reward them; and on another day, drive them for some minutes, reward them.
You probably knew that massage works wonders to calm and relax the most anxious human, but were you aware that it is relaxing for dogs as well? Since anxiety tenses out the muscles, massage therapy reduces that tension.
Start massaging from the neck and move forward to legs with long strokes. Hold the dog with one hand and massage with the other hand. With practice, you’d begin understanding the stress points in your dog’s body and you can work on that particular area.
Desensitization and Counterconditioning
For the early treatment of fear, phobia, and anxiety, desensitization is the most effective option. This therapy aims to reduce the reaction intensity to a particular stimulus. For instance, for some time, leave the dog alone with anxious emotions.
In the desensitization process, the dog is exposed to the stimulus that causes fear or anxiety in a controlled manner. The intensity of exposure is so low that they do not respond with fear or anxiety.
Counter-conditioning is a training in which dogs are trained to respond with positive behavior at the place of fear and anxiety. When the dog starts being anxious, distract them by giving familiar commands like sit and stay.
However, the signs of anxiety are low in dogs. You should first learn to identify the signs of fear, anxiety, and phobia in your dog. It will help you divert the dog before they panic.
Use CBD Oil
CBD is extracted from cannabis and hemp which helps to treat various mental health conditions.
Most dogs get benefitted from CBD oil. However, it is recommended to use CBD oil after validating its consistency and purity. It is best to consult with the veterinarian before using the CBD oil for anxiety treatment of your dog.
Does the thunderstorm or firework sound make your dog scared? Does hearing strange sounds make them anxious? Turning on some soothing sounds for your dog can prove helpful here.
Music reduces the noise sensitivity of your dog by blocking the sounds that bother them.
Studies have shown that playing music in the shelter of your dog leads to less barking, the low-stress hormone cortisol, and lower respiratory rates. It is not much of a surprise as the effect of music on humans is already known. Music is a natural remedy for anxiety, it helps with sleep disorders in both humans and dogs.
Cuddle your dog when they are crying just like you do to the kids. Calming coats and thunder shirts are also helpful. Surround the dog with it like a swaddle cloth on the baby. It applies mild, constant pressure to the torso of your dog; they feel like someone is hugging them closely.
This method is best for dogs that are experiencing travel, separation, noise, or stranger anxiety. Various models and sizes are available in different brands - choose the best suitable for your dog.
Leaving your dog with your recently worn clothes can also be helpful.
Brushing and Grooming
For some dogs, therapy can be as simple as brushing them every night for 10 to 15 minutes. Like us, dogs also love getting pampered. Brushing them every day gives both of you more time together. You can also regularly check for any developing sores, lesions, or abrasions on the skin which may bother them. If you have any such signs, visit the vet.
The most powerful sense of dogs is the smell. Lavender and frankincense work best to deal with a dog's anxiety. However, be cautious - essential oils can be toxic for dogs as they are more sensitive than humans. Therefore, do not apply them directly to their skin. Diffusers are a safer way for aromatherapy.
If your dog is having serious anxiety concerns, be sure to schedule an appointment with the vet.
If you wish to pamper your dog with new supplies. visit Bully Billows for the dog harness, collars, leashes, and leads. Your doggo will like our comfortable collection.