Tips for Reducing Anxiety in Your Dog
3 Tips for Reducing Anxiety in Your Dog
Anxiety is a normal and healthy emotion that nearly every human will experience at some point in their life. Anxiety can also affect our pets too. The difference is, unlike humans, who can express their feelings, dogs do not have this same capability. If your dog’s anxiety goes undetected, more serious problems can manifest. At this point, you are probably wondering, “How in the world should I know if my dog even has anxiety?” And if your pup does suffer from anxiety, how can it be treated? Don’t worry! We are here to answer all of your questions about how to reduce anxiety in pets.
First, things first. What are the Warning Signs my Dog Has Anxiety?
No matter how much love and attention you give your pet, your dog could be experiencing anxiety for countless reasons. If your dog has anxiety, he is probably suffering from either separation or fear-induced anxiety. The American Kennel Club explains that fear-induced anxiety comes from being unable to cope with new stimuli like new loud noises or humans. Usually, dogs with this type of anxiety only have a brief reaction to the source of what is making your dog anxious. Separation anxiety affects over 17% of dogs in the United States, and stems from dogs not being able to find comfort while they are away from their owner. If your dog exhibits aggression, repetitive or destructive behavior, avoids eye contact, or has low energy and motivation levels, then your dog might be showing signs that they are suffering from an anxiety disorder. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to help your pet if he is showing these symptoms!
Three Tips to Help Alleviate Your Dog’s Anxiety
Before trying any new plan of action when it comes to trying to eliminate anxiety in your pup, it is best to consult a veterinarian. They will be able to help you figure out what behavioral disorder your dog is suffering from, and can help you to create the best treatment plan. If your veterinarian decides that behavior modification would be the most helpful to your dog’s mental state, then you can start to communicate with a professional trainer. They will be able to take you through the process of counter-conditioning or desensitizing your pet to different stimuli.
Exercise and Nutrition
It is recommended that a healthy exercise and diet plan can help treat anxiety in humans, and the same is true for your dog! Exercise allows dogs to get rid of any extra pent up negative energy that fuels anxiety. If you take your dog out for exercise daily, your pup will perceive their daily outing as a reward and gives them a sense of schedule, which ultimately makes them feel less stressed. Along with a routine fitness regimen, it is important for your canine to have a nutritious diet. Consult your veterinarian about extra herbal vitamins to add to your dog’s diet to prevent other health complications.
Sleep with Your Pet
One of the easiest tricks in the book for helping your dog feel more at ease is allowing your dog to sleep in your bed with you. There are many benefits that can be achieved for both you and your pup when you do this. It is a great bonding experience for both parties and can help your relationship grow immensely. Letting your dog sleep with you will bring down both of your stress levels in no time!