Nervous Pooch? Top 9 Methods of Treating Anxiety in Dogs

Did you know that 63.4% of Americans have a dog as a pet? Do you have a dog and are looking for treatment options for their anxiety?

This article has you covered since you’ll learn the top methods of treating anxiety in dogs. Read on to discover these methods for a more relaxed and calmer pooch.

Dog Anxiety Causes

There are a variety of causes that could lead to your dog’s anxiety. Some of the main reasons are aging, separation, and fear. If your dog has separation anxiety, it’s hard for them to be relaxed when you’re not around.

They could start showing bad behavior such as going potty in the house or destroying furniture. Age-related anxiety could be caused by your dog getting older and having a lower perception around them, and awareness.

The other common cause of anxiety is fear-related. If they’re meeting other animals or people they don’t know, going to different environments, or loud noises, they could suffer from fear-related anxiety.

Symptoms

Do you ever notice your dog does repetitive behavior or often pants? That could be a sign of anxiety. They could also show destructive patterns such as aggression, barking, going potty inside, or pacing.

Watch out for when they’re biting or licking themselves since that could be a sign of anxiety.

Treatment Options

While you might feel stressed and overwhelmed when you find out your dog has anxiety, there are several treatment options you could try and see what works best. Everything from prevention to CBD could be an option.

  1. CBD Oil

CBD oil isn’t just an option for you, but your dog too. Check out places like The Green Dragon CBD for CBD oil options for dogs. CBD is found in cannabis but has no THC, so it’s safe for your pooch.

You can always speak with your vet first before giving your dog CBD if you don’t feel comfortable.

  1. Exercise

Since exercise stimulates serotonin(serotonin is released in your brain which makes you feel good), it’s a great option for dogs to relax. Any pent-up aggression that leads to anxiety will be released from exercise as well.

Along with exercise, consider massages for your dog to help them relax.

  1. Weighted Dog Blanket

Weighted dog blankets mimic serotonin. If your pal is feeling nervous or stressed, this blanket could help calm them down.

  1. Anxiety Medication

If your dog has a serious anxiety disorder, your vet might recommend they take anxiety medication. Some examples of medications that could be prescribed are clomipramine and fluoxetine.

For fireworks or thunderstorms, your vet might have you give them benzodiazepine along with the other medications.

  1. Calming Music

Dogs can benefit from calming music as well, not just people. While leaving the radio or TV on before you leave can help, there’s actually specialized music for your pooch.

You can find plenty of calming music out there for anxious dogs.

  1. Quick Tips

If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, don’t point out that you’re leaving. Also, don’t give them a bunch of hugs or kisses, or shake your keys before you leave.

Consider giving your dog a treat before you leave. Just make sure to treat leaving for a full day the same as walking out the door like any other time.

  1. Desensitization 

Whatever your dog is scared of you could make them desensitized to by re-introducing them until they feel comfortable. You’ll want to do this very slowly over time and reward their positive behavior.

  1. Counter-Conditioning

Similar to desensitization, you’re changing your dog’s response to the stimuli. Some options are focusing on their owner or sitting.

  1. Distraction

Whether they’re scared of thunderstorms, fireworks, or unfamiliar places, you can try the distraction technique. You’ll have them focus on you or different things they’re familiar with instead of what they’re scared of.

You can practice tricks they know (such as sit) and reward them for practicing and getting it right.

Prevention

If your dog has separation anxiety there are several options you can do to keep your pooch busy while you or your family are away. Your dog could have a medical problem, so always speak to your vet first about any different behavior.

Try to socialize your dog with other people, pets, and dogs so they’ll be more comfortable meeting strangers. Make sure to always pay attention to their body language to avoid an uncomfortable situation.

Whether your dog has separation anxiety or not, it’s vital you keep them healthy with a proper diet and exercise. When your dog is being exercised regularly, they’re less likely to show destructive behavior.

Last but not least, consider obedience training for them to properly manage and prevent anxiety. When a dog is properly trained with others, social anxiety will be minimized.

Calming Your Dog

Always consult with your vet since that’s your best option for helping your dog’s anxiety. Avoid having your dog be in dark rooms since that’ll just make them more anxious and uncomfortable.

Always try to make sure they’re in a well-lit room to remain calm. Have a safe place for your dog to escape to if they’re feeling uncomfortable. Whether a dog bed with pillows or allowing your dog on the blanket placed on the couch, the safe options are endless.

Treating a Dog’s Anxiety

While not every option for treating anxiety might work, there are many options out there you can try to find what’s the best fit. Would you like to learn more about pet advice? Check out our other articles.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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