Dog Anxiety: 7 Ways to Reduce Your Dog’s Anxiety5 min read
What is Dog Anxiety?
Dog anxiety can be difficult to live with. In extreme cases, it can lead dogs to destroy furniture and disturb neighbors with their barking. It can also have a negative effect on dog owners. Dog anxiety can lead to stress and frustration for dog owners that feel helpless.
Signs of Dog Anxiety
There are many signs of dog anxiety. Although these anxiety symptoms are easy to notice, always stay aware of your dog’s behavior. Any changes can indicate a change in their physical or emotional health.
- Unusually aggressive behavior
- Trembling and a tucked tail
- Digestive issues
- Excessive licking
- Increased barking
- Excessive chewing
- Inappropriate behavior like defecating indoors
Causes of Dog Anxiety
Dogs with separation anxiety become anxious, depressed, or agitated because their owners leave. Solutions for separation anxiety for dogs:
- Offer your dog a puzzle or new treat distracts them from your absence.
- Train your dog to not assume that you are always leaving.
For example, put on your coat and pickup your keys as if you were to leave home. Instead of heading out the door, sit on the couch or start cooking in the kitchen. This will train your dog to not associate your actions with you leaving.
Moving to a New Home
Dogs love consistency. They love knowing that when you come home after work you will both go for a walk. They enjoy knowing that their breakfast is ready for them every morning. Sometimes we bring change into their life and they do not enjoy it.
It helps your dog if you:
- calmly talk to them about the move. Dogs understand our tone and words more than we think!
- Try to keep your dog on as similar of a routine or schedule as possible.
- Try to be home for the first several days to help your dog adjust.
Uncomfortable in Confined Spaces
It is unnatural for dogs to be in confined spaces like a crate. This is especially true for long periods of time. Confinement anxiety is created when your dog has a negative experience in a confined space.
Positive reinforcement can support a dog in accepting confinement. Use treats, attention, and praise to help them adapt. This approach makes your dog associate positive outcomes with confinement.
Alternative Dog Calming Methods
1. Quality Exercise
In some cases, dogs have excess energy and need to release it. If your dog’s breed has a lot of energy, it is important to give them the quality exercise they need.
2. Improved Diet
A dog’s diet also has a big effect on their behavior. If you can’t afford the time or cost of a raw or cooked food diet, offer whole foods as treats. Peel a carrot, offer an apple slice, or share some cooked unseasoned meat to diversify your dog’s nutrition.
3. Create a Calm Environment
After visiting a spa we all feel more relaxed. By creating the same environment for your dog, you can help reduce your dog’s anxiety.
Create a calm environment for your dog by:
- diffusing lavender and other essential oils,
- reducing loud noises, or
- give them a challenging puzzle; distraction helps soothe dog anxiety.
4. Stay Connected with a Dog Camera
- Dog Cameras: If you are away from home you can use dog cameras like the Furbo Dog camera. These techy toys allow you to interact remotely with your dog and check on their behavior while you are away.
- Remote Dog Toys: There are many dog toys that allow you to interact with your dog throughout the day. For example the Petzi treat cam, allows you to throw your pet a treat while you are away.
5. Comfort Vests for Dogs
Comfort vests like the Thundershirt calm your dog by swaddling them. The swaddling effect calms dogs and makes them feel secure in their environment. Thundershirts are effective for 80% of dogs! Comfort vests can help not only with anxiety, but with over excitement and stress. Give it a try and share your experience.
6. Visit a Vet
In extreme cases, you may need to bring your dog to a vet for medication. Visiting a vet is best for cases in which these solutions have not worked. If your dog continues to destroy your furniture, bite their fur, or bother your neighbors with howling, we recommend visiting your vet to see if medication might be a good temporary solution.
7. Calming Treats for Dogs
Deley Naturals Dog Anxiety Support ($49.99 – Bestseller):
Great for Travel, Separation Anxiety, and Confinement Anxiety
Deley Naturals dog anxiety treats reduce everyday stress that shows up as barking, chewing, hyperactivity, and destructive behavior.
…We discovered that Jack ( the new 2 yr male dog) was marking his territory throughout my house…I spoke with vets, trainers, no one could help or tell my why. Nothing stopped him. I decided to try these, and guess what.. no pee in the house for over a month!! Needless to say, I’m happy!
- Beth Gottlieb
Great for Car Travel, a Vet Visit, or as Dog Puzzle Treats
The VetryScience Laboratories Compsure Soft Chews use key ingredients like Thiamine and colostrum to calm your dog and provide relaxation.
We are on our 2nd bag. We have a dog that has been scared of his own shadow for over a decade. Nothing ever seemed to work, but we have taken him out a few times and he seems less nervous/scared of people walking by our vehicle. We can tell by the reduced barking…
NaturVet Quiet Moments Plus Melatonin ($10.99 – Most Affordable):
Great for Managing Stress and Relaxing Naturally
NaturVet Quiet Moments Chews include natural active ingredients like chamomile, passion flower, and ginger.
My Yorkie has extreme social anxiety…As soon as someone looks at her, she goes into a barking fit and cannot be calmed down…I bought these on a Tuesday, gave them to her before her vet appointment, and the vet seemed extremely impressed with how much more laid back she was. I tried them again before bringing her to the groomer that Thursday…45 minutes into the grooming, the groomer called me to tell me that Piper had been extremely calm, loving, and docile the whole time. I was blown away.
What is your favorite solution for calming your dog during stressful times? Share with us in the comments!