As a dog parent, your priority must be to present your pup with a healthy, happy, and comfortable living, right? You may be putting in all of the required efforts, from giving your dog the best food to grooming them regularly. Yet, you might have neglected their mental health in all of your actions.
Yes, dogs, like humans, suffer from mental or emotional issues. However, you should not feel terrible about ignoring your dog’s mental health. That’s because it is pretty standard for individuals to disregard their own mental health, let alone their dogs’.
That is why you must thus be supportive and helpful to your dog while it is in distress. The first step is to determine what is causing your dog anxiety. Once you’ve identified the triggers, check for signs and begin working on easing your pet’s misery.
Let me illustrate this with an example. Assume your dog is anxious and started barking excessively, which might make it feel exhausted. In such a scenario, you can use one of the best bark collars for dogs. It will make the dog bark less, and make it less fatigued. Moreover, tiredness can become another reason for anxiety making it a vicious circle.
The above example is just one reason and solution for your dog’s anxiety issues. There are several more that can cause distress to your dog. Here I have outlined everything that can assist you in the process and, in the end, ensure a happy and healthy life for your dog. Let’s get started!
Why Dogs Get Anxious?
There are several reasons for dogs to become anxious, and the most common ones are enlisted below:
- Abandonment by the owner
- Separation from the pet parent
- Surrounded by strangers
- Traffic and other loud nuisance
- Company of other pets
- Being home alone
Aside from the anxiety triggers outlined above, your dog may suffer generalized anxiety. Yes, your dog might be in discomfort for literally anything. So, as a pet parent, you must be aware of if your dog is anxious. Look for the signs to understand this and for that, refer to the next section.
How to Know if Your Dog Is Anxious?
When we are stressed, we either throw tantrums, smash things, yell at others, or speak it out. Unfortunately, dogs cannot always voice out their anguish. However, they send us various signs signaling us that they are suffering from anxiety. These signals could be subtle or violent. Let’s have a look at these signs and indicators.
- Prolonged Yawn
- Excessive Licking
- Excessive Drooling
- Intensified Whining
- Pacing, increased heart rate
- Intensified Barking
- Ears pulled back against their head
- Panting without being indulged in physical activity
- Hiding behind the owner, trees, etc. to avoid interactions
- Refusing to have food
- Peeing frequently, improper bowel movements
- Increased shedding
- Dilated pupils, blinking rapidly, opening eyes widely
If you notice your dog exhibiting any of these signs abruptly, it is likely to be anxious. Aside from the above signs, you may observe changes in their body posture despite their good physical soundness. In any case, you must act quickly to provide your pet with much-needed relief. The following section discusses how to handle dog anxiety.
Proven Ways to Deal With Dog Anxiety
There are several approaches you may use to assist your anxious pet. You can go to the vet, use over-the-counter medications, or just try some do-it-yourself techniques. Let’s go through those in-depth.
Try Music Therapy
Put on a soft melody and watch how your dog’s mood improves. Music helps to drown out the noise from the streets, which is one of the causes of anxiety in dogs. Put on some classical or harp music and see how quickly your dog relaxes.
Make Your Dog Exercise
Engage your dog in physical activities; take him for a long walk or play ball with him for some movement. Exercise releases good hormones, which help ease anxieties in the dog.
Treat Your Dog With Massage
Massage your dog to relax stiff muscles and relieve anxiety. Begin at the neck, then slowly and softly downwards with big strokes.
Re-Examine Your Schedule
If you tend to be busy, try managing some time with your dog. Doing so will relieve separation anxiety in your dog.
Purchase Dog Products and Over the Counter Meds
Buy dog products that work wonders, such as pheromone sprays, bark collars, and vests. You may also try supplements and probiotics from OTC for quicker relief.
Seek Professional Help
In case you still struggle with treating your dog’s anxiety, then seek professional help. A certified veterinary or animal behaviorist will help you pinpoint the issue and draft an effective solution.
How to Prevent Dog Anxiety?
It is difficult to identify what might make your dog anxious or when it will develop a severe disorder leading to anxiety. However, there are some ways that can help avoid anxiety-related problems.
- Your dog’s body language – Understanding when your pet is uncomfortable can help you avoid any negative experiences. It is especially beneficial when a pet has a history of aggression-related anxiety.
- Need for proper socialization – Development of anxiety can vanish through proper socialization. You can introduce your pet to new places and surroundings, and they become a better canine citizen.
- Providing proper obedience training – It is an essential aspect that can help manage and prevent anxiety in pets to a great extent. A trained dog is any day better at socializing than an untrained one. During the training sessions, your dog will meet other pets in a controlled environment.
- Regular exercise and need for nutrition – a well-nourished and stimulated dog have less chance to pick up destructive behavior. Nutrition also ensures that your pet receives proper food intake for their physical and mental needs.
That’s everything concerning dog anxiety. You may also give your dog a specialized diet. Apart from that, be supportive patient, praise your puppy, treat them with delicacies and toys and most importantly, keep them happy. That’s the key to raising a healthy and more comfortable dog.