There are some techniques that your veterinarian may suggest to help alleviate your dog’s anxiety. Some are simple things to try and other ideas will require your veterinarian to supervise them.
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Just as in humans, anxiety has triggered in pets. If you’ve had your veterinarian rule out any illnesses, you may wish to try some of these strategies to see if your dog reacts to any of them.
Example: If your dog is frightened of other dogs or of people, avoid the dog park. Instead, take your dog out when there are fewer people out, use a fenced-in yard, and play games with your dog inside and out.
Consider Dog Appeasing Pheromones
These are synthetic pheromones that work just as calming pheromones that female dogs exude when they’re nursing their pups.
Such pheromones help to reduce anxiety in many dogs. They’re available in a variety of forms. They have collars, diffusers, and sprays that can be considered for using synthetic pheromones.
Exercise Your Dog
Just as exercise can ease anxiety in humans, it can also ease anxiety in dogs. Per the research, the greater the level of exercise, the lower the levels of fear, aggression, and separation anxiety.
Just as humans can hide away in their own sanctuary, dogs can benefit from a sanctuary area as well. Having their own area and space is a great way to help a dog take a quiet moment or time out if they need some quiet time. Having their own quiet space where they can escape when they’re feeling anxious helps them to unwind and relax when needed. Whether it’s their own bed, a dog crate, a specific room, or an area, it will go far in helping to ease their anxiety.
This can help in such situations as:
- Visitors to the home.
You can also use white noise and drown out such sounds that may make dogs more anxious. Soft music or soothing tones go far to help ease their anxiety.
Some pet owners swear by medications such as CBD for dogs, your veterinarian can prescribe anti-anxiety medications if he or she feels they would help and owners are interested in exploring that option.
Other pet owners have concerns regarding medications such as:
- Will my dog sleep more?
- Will my dog’s personality change?
- How will medication affect my dog’s lifespan?
Proper medications should help your pet have less anxiety, appear happier, and still retain its fun playful personality. If your veterinarian isn’t sure which medication to prescribe, there are board-certified veterinary behaviourists that can assist you in finding the right medication for your dog.
Sometimes, other modalities are required to help alleviate certain behaviour issues. Such modifications can help your dog to change its response to certain stimuli or triggers.
Such cognitive therapy can help your dog to calm down and learn to reduce its triggers.
A veterinary behaviourist can also help you with other issues your dog may be having.
Learn to be supportive of your dog’s anxiety. Rule out underlying illnesses. Help them avoid their triggers. Seek professional assistance if required to help them ease through transitions.
There is a lot of scientific evidence that shows that stress can have a negative impact on your health and that of your pet. In 2010, a study of 721 dogs showed that stress and fear or anxiety can have serious negative effects on their health and their lifespan. For this reason, it’s vital to be proactive with your dog and help them with their anxiety.
Don’t give up! While it may take some trial and error, with true dedication and the right professionals, you can help your dog to be happy and lead a long and healthy life. Your dog deserves the best and will thank you for your love and affection.