Seeing your stressed dog can be unsettling. Not only is it distressing to see your beloved companion unhappy, but an anxious dog can exhibit undesirable behaviors. Signs of stress can be as subtle as yawning, overgrooming, and lack of appetite, or as obvious as trembling, biting and barking. What may appear to be signs of aggression can simply be a manifestation of a dog’s stress. Stress can result from fear triggers, separation anxiety, or cognitive dysfunction due to aging. But the good news is that there are many ways to help your dog get through their anxiety. Here are five natural methods that you can try for your companion.
When your dog first has an anxious reaction, try to distract from the trigger. This prevents the dog from fixating and becoming more stressed. It also teaches a dog to replace the undesirable stress reaction with a desirable reaction of focusing on you. Try using some of their training commands, such as a “sit,” “touch,” or “heel.” These commands not only take your dog’s mind off of the stressor but also imparts a sense of normalcy. Dogs often will read their owners’ reactions to potential danger. By remaining calm, ignoring the stressor, and keeping your dog’s focus on yourself, you can teach your dog to ignore the trigger.
Sometimes a stressful trigger is too overwhelming and you are unable to distract your dog. You should have a designated spot in the house that is your dog’s “safe space.” This space should belong to the dog and be where they feel comfortable napping or just hanging out. By removing your dog from the stressor and to their sanctuary, your dog will be able to take a moment to reset. To further enforce a feeling of safety, some dogs also respond well to anxiety vests. These are tightly fitted Velcro vests that work similarly to a weighted blanket.
You’ve probably heard the saying: a tired dog is a good dog. Sometimes anxiety or bad behaviors are simply the results of an overactive mind. Just as regular exercise is good for humans, regular exercise for dogs through routine walks and playtime can create a more balanced dog and reduce overall levels of fear, anxiety, and aggression.
Socialization is the process of exposing a dog to a variety of sights, smells, and sounds while giving positive reinforcement in the form of treats or praise. Frequent socialization can be key to reducing a dog’s anxiety, especially anxiety that results from things such as loud noises or foreign objects. Dogs can understandably be a bit nervous when faced with something new. And you might be surprised by what differences your dog suddenly finds frightening. Socialization helps mitigate the unknown and teaches dogs to be calmer when faced with something new. There are many online socialization checklists that are useful starting points. While early socialization is important, it’s never too late to begin.
Another method that some pet owners swear by is anxiety relief CBD for dogs. CBD products are usually a treat or oil that is infused with cannabis or hemp extract. This extract is naturally occurring in cannabis and hemp plants and is reported to help treat certain conditions for both humans and dogs. It’s also said to help with dog anxiety due to its calming properties. Using these natural compounds can sometimes help where other methods fail because it works directly with the dog’s brain chemistry to calm them down.
Dogs, just like humans, will likely go through many stressful situations during their lifetime. Don’t be too worried if this happens. The stress reaction is an instinct that helps dogs avoid danger. When this instinct is wrong, we as owners can guide our dogs to cope with their anxiety through natural means. Using these five methods for helping dog anxiety, we can teach our companions to cope with their fears. This will not only result in a happier, more balanced dog but will also increase your bond with your dog.
This post was created with our nice and easy submission form. Create your post!