It can be agony to watch your funny dogs suffer from anxiety. It is especially painful if you’re not sure what to do about it, and there seems to be no way to help. But usually, there are ways to help your anxious pup, both in the short-term and in the long run. Here’s how to work with your dog’s anxiety:
Understanding Anxiety in Dogs
Anxiety is a normal part of life. It’s related to fear, which is the nervous system’s response to a real or perceived threat. When your dog perceives a threat, its body will prepare for the freeze, fight, or flight response. Anxiety is when your dog anticipates future threats by preparing too well.
Anxiety in dogs ranging from mild to moderate anxiety usually manifests as:
Shivering, pinching tail, reluctance to move, hiding in corners or sheltered places, trying to escape (from where you are currently)
More severe panics usually manifest as:
Panting, breaking furniture, drooling, pacing, actively trying to escape (from where you are), self-harm for no reason
Destructive behavior can manifest, but it is not always a sign of anxiety in dogs. If your pup is destroying the furniture, it might be because he is afraid and dislikes being alone. This is more common with separation anxiety.
The general types of anxiety recognized in dogs are noise anxiety, separation anxiety, and social anxiety.
How to Help Your Dog’s Anxiety
Here are some of the many ways you may be able to help alleviate your dog’s anxiety:
- Increase Training
Anxiety may be getting to your dog partly because their concentration levels are too low. Without keeping themselves busy, they spend more time worrying.
Try playing new games with them, teaching them new skills, and new walking routes. The more engaged they are in the here and now, the less energy they will use on anxious thoughts and behaviors.
- Increase Exercise and Play Games
Increase their exercise and play games with them. Exercise alleviates stress, and increases endorphins – even in dogs! Playing games with your pup can help them build confidence as well.
- Swaddle Your Pup
During stressful moments, wrap your dog in a big hug, or a blanket, to let them know they are safe. Compression shirts can also give your dog that sense of safety, especially when it comes to something like storm anxiety and calming your dog during a storm. Here we recommend you teddykala’s dog couch, which can help you solve related problems.
- Soothing Music
Soothing music can help your dog with anxiety. In the same way that certain types of sounds and melodies can calm a person, dogs can be calmed by certain sounds. iCalmDog makes musical recordings specially designed to help dogs calm down.
- Behavior Modification and Desensitization
Use behavior modification and desensitization. Expose your pup too small amounts of the stressor at hand. Separation anxiety, which is very common in dogs, can be alleviated through this technique. You can leave your pup at home on their own for increasingly larger amounts of time, and tie these experiences to rewards like extra playtime, cuddles, or treats to give them positive reinforcement.
- When the owner goes out, he can prepare some toys for the dog, and the dog's favorite treats, teeth molars, or can put the old clothes with their smell in the kennel to distract the dog. In addition, you can also use the smart pet camera to interact with the dog, so that it will not be too boring at home.