How to Deal With An Anxious Dog

It is often assumed that dogs don’t face any sort of anxiety or stress and that these emotions are only restricted to human beings.

This assumption is wrong however. Dogs too face anxiety, just as humans do, it is only more difficult to recognize symptoms of anxiety in a dog and you will have to be extra perceptive in order to do so.

Symptoms of anxiety in a dog include yawning, salivating, pushing his ears behind his head, tucking in his tail, lifting his paw, licking himself, or even hiding, panting, and shaking, in some cases.

As a dog parent, it is your job to keep an eye out for these signs. Once you recognize that your dog is anxious, you can take certain steps to help him relax. A change in his routine, or the right kind of music may for example help calm him down.

Here are some tips that can teach you how to deal with an anxious dog.

Changes in Routine

It’s never a good idea to rely on products as a means of calming your pup’s anxiety. First, you should make the effort yourself, however you can, to calm him down and make him feel better.

Think about if your pup’s stress or anxiety is stemming from the fact that you aren’t around all that much.

Notice if perhaps your pup seems happier and calmer when he is playing with you, or outside on a walk with you. Often times, just a little bit of exercise is just what is needed to distract the mind and to become calm, in both pets and humans.

Observe what changes to routine can be beneficial for your pup, and inculcate those changes into your routine, as best you can.

Sometimes, even just having a predictable routine can work out well for your pup. If your pup knows what his day will be like, where he’ll get to go, what he’ll eat, how much time he’ll get to play with you, a lot of his anxiety might go down, just like that.

A Doggy Massage

Dogs may be more similar to humans than we otherwise thought. When we are stressed, we are told that a massage might significantly help release tension and consequently make us feel better.

This is because anxiety causes the muscles in your body to tense up, in turn making you feel worked up. Massage therapy is successful because it significantly releases the built up tension inside the muscles..

Similarly, when a dog is stressed out or anxious, you may want to try relieving his tension with a gentle doggy massage.

Anecdotal evidence has suggested that touching a dog when he is anxious or aggressive can help calm him down.

You may have noticed that gently petting your pups head or body each time he is in a situation that makes him uncomfortable, such as a vaccination, getting a blood test done, or witnessing a thunderstorm etc, can really ease his anxiety.

Giving your pup a massage isn’t all that difficult. All you need to do, is start at the area around his neck, moving your hand in slow, gentle movements across his body.

It would be best if you can keep one hand on the dog’s body as you use the other hand to massage him. With time, you will begin to realize in which areas your pup holds most of his stress, then focus on those areas more in order to be most effective.

Play Soothing Music

Music therapy is one of the number one way to calm yourself down when you’re anxious. Music therapy can be just as effective for pets as it is for humans.

Music can help calm your furry friend when he is home alone and suffering from separation anxiety, or just generally when he is worked up or aggressive.

The choice of music of course does matter though. Loud rock music is certainly not going to help your pup feel better. If anything, it’s only going to make your pet feel more worked up!

Typically, classical music works best, according to research. The music of the harp for example has been found to be particularly calming for dogs.

Music is also so effective because it can take your pup’s attention away from any unwanted loud sounds that may otherwise be making him anxious.

For example, if there is a loud thunderstorm outside, and you play slow, classical music inside, your pup is not going to be as scared of the thunderstorm because his attention will mostly be on the music that he is enjoying so very much.

Thus, music acts as a natural sedative. No need to rely on harmful products to cam your pup down after a long and stressful day. Music should do the trick!

Get Professional Help

Sometimes, even after attempting all of these different methods and approaches, you may still be unsuccessful when it comes to calming your beloved pet down, and making him feel better.

If you notice that your pup is anxious for long periods at a stretch and for many days, and isn’t getting better in spite of all your efforts (such as a change in routine, more exercise, relaxing music, massages etc.), then it may really be time to consult a professional.

It’s possible that your pup’s anxiety stems from something greater and it is essential to find out what that may be, if you really want him to get better.

The above tips can help you understand how to deal with an anxious dog. Remember, it will be hard work, but if it helps your pup feel better, it’s all going to be worth it.

by Bobby J Davidson || You can’t buy love, but you can rescue it™

Facts About Animal Homelessness:

  1. Only 1 out of every 10 dogs born will find a permanent home.
  2. The main reasons animals are in shelters: owners give them up, or animal control finds them on the street.
  3. Each year, approximately 2.7 million dogs and cats are killed every year because shelters are too full and there aren’t enough adoptive homes. Act as a publicist for your local shelter so pets can find homes. Sign up for Shelter Pet PR.
  4. Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats.
  5. According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP), less than 2% of cats and only 15 to 20% of dogs are returned to their owners.
  6. 25% of dogs that enter local shelters are purebred.
  7. About twice as many animals enter shelters as strays compared to the number that are relinquished by their owners.
  8. It’s impossible to determine how many stray dogs and cats live in the United States. Estimates for cats alone range up to 70 million.
  9. Only 10% of the animals received by shelters have been spayed or neutered. Overpopulation, due to owners letting their pets accidentally or intentionally reproduce, sees millions of these “excess” animals killed annually.
  10. Many strays are lost pets that were not kept properly indoors or provided with identification.
  11. According to The Humane Society, there are about 3,500 brick-and-mortar animal shelters in the US and 10,000 rescue groups and animal sanctuaries in North America.

Here are a some adoptions for consideration:

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