An anxious dog can be tiresome to deal with. There are several causes of anxiety in dogs. Pet parents should know tips to calm them down.
If you’ve ever experienced anxiety, then you know exactly what it feels like. You have that sense of overwhelming and weakness. Unfortunately, it also affects dogs. In fact, anxiety in dogs is more common than what you think. It can be hard for any pet parent to watch their dog go through with it. That is why you must learn some tips to calm down an anxious dog.
What do experts say about canine anxiety?
“Dogs use body language to communicate how they are feeling,” says Dr Ashley Atkinson (a canine behaviour consultant at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary). This means that if your pet seems on the edge or uneasy, he could be telling you that he is anxious or even fearful. “It’s important to watch and observe your dog for his or her own ‘communication style’ and determine what signals he or she uses to indicate anxiety”, says Dr Atkinson.
Learning to recognise an anxious dog is not hard. There are several signs of anxiety! However, dogs don’t usually have all of them. “Some symptoms may include pacing, trembling or shaking, hyper-vigilance, lip licking, frequent yawning and decreased appetite. Physiologic effects may include increased salivation or drooling, dilated pupils, increased heart rate and panting, or skin lesions from self- trauma or over-grooming”, says Dr Susan Konecny (medical director of Best Friends Animal Society®).
Tips to calm an anxious dog
If you notice this sort of behaviour on your pet, you may have an anxious dog in your house! Nonetheless, be careful! The first (and most important) step to calm your dog is determining what’s causing the anxiety. Generally, your vet should carry out an evaluation of his physical health in order to validate any suspicions about a specific psychological stressor. “To help a dog who is stressed, it is important to determine the cause of anxiety. Once you know how to recognize your dog’s stress signals, like trembling or frequent yawning, you can learn to recognize what might be stressing him”, Dr Atkinson said.
Furthermore, after identifying the cause, you must know how to calm your anxious dog with the following tips:
Tip #1: Increased exercise
According to Cesar Millan, half of a dog’s day should be made up of physical activity. Pet parents should know that if their pets are properly exercised, they won’t have any energy left to feel anxious. Especially if your dog has separation anxiety, you have to make sure they exercise a lot before they’re left alone.
Tip #2: Play music
Music can relax humans and dogs all the same! By doing a simple search on YouTube, you will find a large variety of playlist which has proven to calm down dogs. Whenever your anxious dog is misbehaving, just play some soothing music! Studies show that music gives dogs something positive to focus on.
Finally, if your dog suffers from anxiety on a regular basis, you can also try an anxiety vest. It is quite interesting how it works! It is just like a hug because it can release endorphins in dogs. Definitely, it is a great thing to have around!
Now you know how to deal with an anxious dog. Follow these tips and help your dog deal with anxiety.