How to Ease Your Dog’s Anxiety
Just like humans, dogs can feel a sense of nervousness and anxiety from time to time, but in some instances, dogs can suffer from chronic anxiety to the point that they cannot go about their daily lives without panic. As a dog owner, it’s natural to be worried about how to manage the situation and make decisions in the best interests of your canine friend.
Anxiety in dogs can be caused by social situations, separation, or even noises. Knowing how to deal with the case isn’t always straightforward; however, there are various tips to keep in mind to help you deal with your dog’s nerves.
Some of the most common signs of dog anxiety include:
- Extreme barking
- Accidents in the home
- Lack of appetite
Here are some of the best tips for helping you deal with dog anxiety:
Talk to your vet
Firstly, it would be wise to speak to your vet if there are medical conditions that need attention. Barking, shaking, and unexpected accidents are common if a dog is suffering from pain, infection, or illness. If you are concerned about your dog’s wellbeing, asking the advice of a recommended vet, such as easyvet.com, should be at the top of the agenda. It may even be worth discussing whether it would be ideal for your dog to take anti-anxiety medication to reduce their symptoms and manage behaviors.
Identify the cause
It can be difficult to identify the cause of your dog’s anxiety (not helped by the fact that they cannot speak to communicate). However, trying to find out the underlying reason will enable you to find solutions. Watching out for triggers is the starting point, but this can be complicated, as most dogs become most fearful when they are alone. Some of the most common reasons why dogs can become anxious are down to:
- Fears and phobias from living with their previous owner (if rescued)
Provide a quiet space
In the same way that humans become overwhelmed, dogs also need to have some downtime. When they’re feeling particularly fearful or overwhelmed, having a safe space should provide a sense of comfort and calm in moments of distress. This is especially the case if you are regularly out of the house and your dog particularly deals with separation anxiety. Creating a cozy den alongside an item of your clothing (with your scent on) and a toy should reduce panic and keep them occupied while you are away.
Get another dog
If your dog’s anxiety started after losing a furry companion, it may be worth considering adopting another dog to soften the impact of grief. Not having their pal around anymore may have trigged the separation anxiety as a result of being alone for most of the day.
Another helpful tip for helping your dog overcome anxiety is via some training. One of the best strategies is the method of desensitization. The owner will slowly introduce the dog to the cause of the anxiety (this can be quite a struggle to begin with) and reward them at each stage until they can handle the full ordeal. This approach can be extremely challenging, so you may wish to consult a professional dog trainer to advise on the best method for your pooch.