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Animal Anxiety: 10 Tips on How to Care for a Nervous Dog

May 11, 2019

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Is your dog a nervousness wreck? Just like humans, dogs become anxious.

Unfortunately, they can’t express their anxiety as you do. Instead, they exhibit behaviors such as withdrawing, hiding, becoming clingy and acting out when they get nervy.

As a pet owner, pay attention to behavioral and physical cues your dog exhibits and respond accordingly to assist your dog calm down in the face of distressful situations.

Here are 10 tips on how to care for your nervous dog.

1. Relaxing Massage

Who doesn’t love a good massage? A massage can help your anxious dog calm down and feel relaxed. Soothe your dog’s nerve by using long, slow strokes.

Performing a dog massage involves rubbing your hands and fingers all over your dog’s body in a gentle, soothing manner. The outcome of this form of physical therapy is a more relaxed pet.

2. Exercise

Do you know exercise stimulates your dog’s body to produce serotonin hormone? Serotonin is a feel-good hormone. Exercise is a major stress reliever for your dog.

Exercise achieves a number of things when helping your dog handle anxiety. First, it helps your dog to be physically fit. Second, it eradicates pent up energy and tension that builds anxiety.

Some of the common exercises include playing catch in an outdoor setup, running alongside you as you jog and hike.

3. Dog-Calming Music

Just like humans, dogs like soothing music. If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, you can leave your radio on as you leave the house. This music is meant to comfort the dog.

However, not all music can calm an anxious dog. There is spec ial music for this purpose. This music must be a simple sound. This means that there should be minimum auditory information in the music.

The music used to calm anxious dogs is intentionally selected, organized and recorded to offer easeful auditory assimilation. This music will help your dog deal also with travel anxiety and also desensitize it with noise phobias.

4. Distraction

If your dog nervousness is triggered by specific situations, such as thunderstorms or fireworks, then distractions offer a perfect solution. Engage your dog in activities that preoccupy his mind to help shift attention from frightening situations.

If your dog is highly food motivated, you can feed it as a way of distraction. Distract them with puzzle toys like tug jug or treat ball or Kong toy with peanut butter. This will help your dog associate anxiety triggers with highly valued rewards. This is aimed at neutralizing the impact of these events from being stressful to being a bit tolerable.

5. Use Pheromones

Scents can help calm your dog’s anxiety. One of the popular scent options is known as dog appeasing pheromone (DAP). If you have a puppy, you can use DAP to help it deal with separation anxiety.

You can buy DAP that is in a plug-in diffuser with vials. You won’t be able to smell and it has no negative health consequences to you.

6. Try a Compression Wrap

This is a common solution for dog anxiety. Dress up your dog in a special garment that fits snugly. The idea behind this solution is that the feeling of continuous pressure will help your dog calm the nerves. This helps to handle travel and noise anxiety.

However, there isn’t evidence to prove that this solution works. Some dog owners report that their dog remained anxious despite being fitted with a compression wrap while others swear by it. The effectiveness of this garment may also rely on when and how you will use it, and the personality of the dog. This solution could be helpful if utilized alongside other solutions.

7. Have You Tried Toys?

If your dog is acting out, there is a chance that he is anxious. In such a situation, the dog doesn’t know how to channel negative energy. A new toy can distract your dog and make them not destroy personal belongings or household stuff.

If your furry one likes chewing on things, a chew toy can help to keep them pre-occupied. Sometimes, dogs want to be left alone to unwind. You can take your dog to a quiet place and just let them be.

8. Re-Examine Your Routine

Before you try supplements or any solution that promises to calm your dog’s anxiety, consider the role of your routine in helping your dog overcome anxiety.

For example, having a predictable day-to-day routine so that your dog anticipates time to eat, time to play, and time to go for a walk. This routine will help your dog feel less nervous and increase his confidence.

9. Heard About CBD Oil?

A lot of people use CBD oil since it has powerful healing remedy. It’s believed to help with arthritis, pain and most crucially, anxiety. Dog owners are also embracing CBD since they believe it can calm an anxious dog, and bring back that playful love once more.

If you have a dog suffering from pain, seizures or anxiety, shop here for CBD oil.

10. Maintain Calm Demeanor

Dogs have the ability to sense the mood of their guardians. If you’re tensed, your dog will pick up this same anxiety. It’s a cycle of negative energy and anxiousness that destabilizes you and your pet.

Whenever you’re feeling tensed up, take a deep breath and try not to act out. Your dog feeds on your behavior as well as emotions.

Seek Professional Help for Your Nervous Dog

If your nervous dog is really struggling to remain calm despite trying different solutions, seek professional help. If you don’t seek professional help, it is likely that they won’t just learn to overcome anxiety but their situation will worsen.

Set an appointment with a certified veterinary behaviorist to help you put together a specific solution that will change your dog’s emotional response to their fears.

Check out our blog post to learn more about living with pets.