Dog Anxiety: How to Get Your Dog to Chill
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
Types of Dog Anxiety
Dogs with separation anxiety become anxious, depressed, or agitated because their owners leave. Instead offer your dog a puzzle or new treat distracts them from your absence.
You can also 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! Also try to keep your dog on as similar of a routine or schedule as possible. After moving, 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
Exercise and an Improved Diet
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.
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.
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 and reducing loud noises. To distract your dog while you are gone, give them a challenging puzzle. Distraction helps soothe their anxiety.
Techy Dog Calming Methods
Be More Present With Technology
Now, there are many dog toys that allow you to interact with your dog throughout the day.
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.
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.
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.
Anxiety Medication for Dogs
Calming Treats for Dogs
There are several calming treats on the market for dogs that we recommend.
Deley Naturals Dog Anxiety Support ($49.99 – Bestseller):
Deley Naturals dog anxiety treats reduce everyday stress that shows up as barking, chewing, hyperactivity, and destructive behavior. These treats are perfect for dogs with separation and confinement anxiety. These treats are great for short-term stress caused by travel.
…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. ( ps he’s neutered). I bought a blue light, enzyme cleaners and rug shampooer. 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
The VetryScience Laboratories Compsure Soft Chews use key ingredients like Thiamine and colostrum to calm your dog and provide relaxation. This is a good fit for dogs headed to the vet or dogs afraid of car travel. Try hiding these treats in your dog’s puzzle so they feel calmer when you are gone.
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):
NaturVet Quiet Moments Chews include natural active ingredients like chamomile, passion flower, and ginger. This aid can support your dog in relaxing and better managing stress.
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 didn’t know if it was just a fluke, so 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!