Dog anxiety can be a real problem
Dog anxiety; is it ruling your life? Dogs get anxious all the time, but what can you do to help decrease your dog’s anxiety so you can help improve their lives? You want your dog’s health and happiness to be the best they can be. They may even be telling you what they feel. You can understand them if you pay attention.
Loud noises, being home alone, or car rides trigger panting, tail tucking, or trying to escape. Some of the behaviors are annoying, while others can lead to your dog getting hurt. Uncontrolled anxiety can be dangerous for your dog so here are some tricks to try and help.
1) Planning and avoidance
First, be aware of what stressed out your dog. Try to plan activities that cause anxiety when other stresses are lower. Take your dog for a walk early in the afternoon if a thunderstorm is predicted later, for example. You can try training and desensitizing for recurring situations.
2) Anxiety medication
Talk to your vet to see what he or she recommends. They can prescribe one of several medicines that might be helpful. Also Benadryl, which helps make your dog drowsy and therefore less anxious, is available over the counter. Be sure to check with your vet to make sure that’s a good option for your dog.
3) Using swaddling techniques
Thundershirts or other antianxiety wraps are pretty popular. An elastic wrap bandage applied in the right way can work also. Either way, they work by applying strategic pressure, just like swaddling a baby. YouTube and Google have several videos to help you do it effectively. Here’s an example.
4) Music to decrease dog anxiety
Music can calm your dog. They say classical music, but any music your dog likes can help. And you can find CDs, YouTube channels or websites put together to help. Here’s one that’s on YouTube.
5) Essential oils for calming
Oils like lavender, ylang ylang, sandalwood, chamomile or combinations that can be put together by the user or by the supplier/manufacturer can help. Either special defusers can be set up near your dog to spread the scent of the oil or it can be rubbed on your dog. Be sure to check that the oils you use are ok for direct contact.
6) CBD oil for dog anxiety
CBD oil has become more popular lately. It is made from hemp, a close relative of marijuana, but doesn’t have the THC that causes a “high”. Testing has been limited and circumstantial so far, but it seems to help with anxiety as well as a whole slew of other issues.
Getting enough daily exercise can help decrease anxiety and stress. Extra exercise before a stressful event can help them be more calm since it serves as an outlet for all that nervous energy.
Every situation is different and each dog has its own needs, so you’ll probably need to experiment with these to find the right combination. But maybe just knowing you have options can make the path to peace a little easier.
For more on how to help your dog live their best life, read my blog Dog Hydrotherapy.