The Laylo Pets-Approved Way to Keep Your Anxious Pup Calm
When our dogs feel anxious, we feel nervous too. Naturally, we want our dogs to feel safe and comfortable, so it’s tough to watch your little bud pacing, panting, whining, or scratching. Keep reading ways to calm an anxious dog in different situations and with other natural solutions.
What Are the Signs of Anxiety in Dogs?
Sometimes the root of canine stress can be acute, like fear of loud noises or new places, or it may be something more profound, like past trauma or neglect. And it’s stressful for us humans when we can’t identify the cause at all.
Signs Your Dog is Anxious
- Whining, crying, or barking
- Digging, chewing, or shredding
- Pacing, restlessness, or shaking
- Aggressive behavior
- Excessive scratching, licking or drooling
- Peeing or pooping (when they’re entirely housetrained)
- Refusing to eat
- Hiding or cowering
- Tucking their tail or ears
- Freezing or refusing to move (classic don’t-take-me-to-the-vet behavior)
How Can I Calm My Dog’s Anxiety Naturally?
Most of us don’t want to give drugs to our dogs to help them stay calm. Luckily, there are many natural ways you can calm your dog’s anxiety.
A tired pup is often a happy pup. How much exercise your dog needs varies by age, health, and breed, but The Kennel Club recommends at least one walk per day, two for more active dogs. If you’re unsure of the right amount for your dog, consult your vet.
Keep them Comfy
We know a thing or two about keeping dogs comfortable (we do it professionally!). Ensure they have a comfortable place to lie down and give them a good massage or some sweet cuddles.
Avoid the Stressing Behavior
If you know the dog park stresses them out, try walks instead. If you’re having guests and know new people make your dog anxious, create a quiet, comfortable sanctuary away from the action.
Sometimes behavior modification can help your dog stay calm. For example, you can condition your dog to understand that the world doesn’t end when you leave. Give them some mental stimulation in the form of a treat puzzle or teach them that being alone can be cozy with some effective crate training.
The same goes for place training. Having a comforting place to get away from a stressful trigger can help you calm an anxious dog almost instantly. A comforting bed tied with the place command can help your pup feel secure and safe in its space.
Try a Thunder Jacket
If you want to calm an anxious dog during thunderstorms, try a thunder jacket. Some dogs triggered by loud noises respond well to the comfort of a thunder jacket or anxiety wrap. Plus, they’re super cute. These jackets can also help calm an anxious dog from fireworks, at the vet, or when you’re crate training them.
Top 5 Causes of Dog Anxiety
Our dogs are very sensitive to triggers, and they’re also creatures that love routines. So, it’s very easy that our dogs become anxious when things around them change. These are some of the most common causes of dog anxiety.
1. Changes in Routine (Theirs and Yours)
With COVID-19, many of us have changed our lifestyles or routines, which means our dogs’ lifestyles have changed too. Maybe you’re out of the house for more extended periods of time or just the opposite, and your dog has become accustomed to being with you (and getting rubs) all day. These sudden changes in their routine can be quite stressful for them.
We hate to think about our dogs’ hurting, but it happens. Symptoms of stress in dogs can be a result of sickness or pain. You’ll notice that they’re licking themselves more often, biting at a specific spot, or scratching all the time. Talk to your vet ASAP if you think this could be the cause.
3. Separation Anxiety
A dog with separation anxiety will make a disaster the moment you step out of the house, they’re more likely to bark excessively when you’re not around, and they will always greet you with extreme eagerness. However, you’ll also notice that after they welcome you, they literally fall asleep, as if you not being there was exhausting for them.
This might be flattering for us, but it’s misery for them. According to the ASPCA, dogs adopted from shelters may be more likely to suffer this kind of anxiety, but any dog is susceptible.
4. Past Trauma or Neglect
Your dog may have lived an entirely different life before they landed in your loving arms. They may have been abused or neglected in the past and have personal triggers for their stress. Dogs with past traumas tend to be a bit more aggressive or fearful. Both emotions lead to tremendous amounts of stress and anxiety.
5. Loud or Piercing Noises
It can be challenging to calm an anxious dog during thunderstorms, from fireworks, or other piercing sounds that can be extremely bothersome to them. Dogs have very sensitive hearing, so these noises can be distressing to them.
If you’re finding your dog is anxious a lot, or if you can’t identify the cause, talk to your vet. They can help you determine why your pup feels uneasy and how you can best soothe your sweet bud. They might prescribe medication if your dog’s anxiety is affecting their lifestyle.
Other common remedies to calm an anxious dog include CBD, over-the-counter Benadryl, and herbal remedies with melatonin, chamomile, or hemp. As always, listen to your pup, talk to your vet, and do what you think is best for your furry one.