Dog anxiety can show in many different ways such as barking, whining, whimpering, and shivering. Moreover, dogs could become aloof and destructive. If this is not dealt with, it could make them lose their appetite and withdraw themselves completely.
Being left alone, traveling, hearing loud noises, being surrounded by other people or animals, and being abandoned are some of the reasons for dogs to feel anxious. Neglected or abused dogs usually experience this.
One of the most effective ways to treat is to understand what your dog wants and identify the cause. Here are some of the methods on how to help a dog with anxiety.
Paying Your Veterinarian a Visit
Consulting with a veterinarian is the ideal way to deal with your dog’s anxiety. They can help you the kind of anxiety your dog goes through and the likely reasons why for it. Moreover, they can make you better understand if it is a conditional case or something more serious.
You can find out if your dog has an underlying condition that causes it to be anxious. A veterinarian can also create a treatment strategy. Many factors usually cause a dog’s anxiety. Therefore, a combination of various strategies could be the best treatment.
Many various training methods can be utilized to help deal with dog anxiety. One of these is counterconditioning.
It is done to alter how a dog responds to stimulus causing it to be anxious. It replaces the distressed behavior of a dog with a more desirable one such as concentrating on its owner or sitting.
Another training method is desensitization. It is usually used in combination with counterconditioning. This means gradually introducing your dog to its source of anxiety. In managing your anxiety in dogs, exposing them to the source and giving rewards are likely to work.
It is recommended to talk to a professional dog trainer so that you can pick out the best training strategy for your dog since this kind of training can be challenging.
For serious cases of anxiety with dogs, a veterinarian might suggest medications or natural treatments. Antidepressants and SSRIs are usually given to dogs experiencing anxiety such as clomipramine and fluoxetine.
Medications such as benzodiazepine are given together with an antidepressant to help dogs deal with predictable occurrences that can make them anxious such as riding a car and hearing fireworks or thunder.
Selegiline is a drug that can be advantageous for old dogs with cognitive dysfunction syndrome or CDS. That is because it can lessen the symptoms of the conditions. In Europe, it is also given to dogs with chronic anxiety.
According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, natural treatments and products can also help with this problem. Some are more effective when used together with other treatments or medications and some can be used on their own.
This all depends on your dog’s condition. Organic products utilize aromatherapy and pheromones to lessen anxiety. It is best to consult with your veterinarian for the product most appropriate for your dog.
Using CBD Oil
Some dog owners say that CBD oil is effective in treating dog anxiety. CBD is a component in hemp and cannabis that people and dog owners discovered to be effective in dealing with various health conditions.
Keep in mind that even though a lot of people have been using CBD oil to treat anxiety and other conditions, scientific data is not currently available on its effectiveness on dogs.
Moreover, CBD oil and other related products are not regulated yet, so how pure and consistent these products are not validated at all times. If you want to try using CBD oil to treat dog anxiety, it is ideal to talk with a veterinarian. They can check if this is an ideal treatment for your dog and explain to your possible danger and side effects.
When you allow your dog to socialize, it can help in preventing anxiety. Giving your dog a chance to meet new people and other animals, visit new places, and experience new things can prevent extreme anxiety attacks. Moreover, socializing them can help them be a good dog citizen.
Training your dog to be obedient is important so that you can manage your dog’s anxiety and prevent it. This is where trust and a hearty relationship is established.
A trained dog is also easier to socialize than those that are not. Attending obedience training or classes can help your dog interact with other dogs in a controlled setting.
Exercising and Having the Right Nutrition
Daily exercises are vital for your dog’s physical and mental development. An active dog is unlikely to show aggressiveness.
A proper diet is as important as having regular exercise. You have to make sure that you pay attention to your dog’s needs physically and mentally. You can keep behavior problems from happening and also identify what areas to work on for your dog.
Avoiding Situations Causing Anxiety
It is better for dogs diagnosed with anxiety-related conditions to avoid exposing them to the anxiety triggers. For instance, if your dog feels overwhelmed when there are other dogs, you can skip visiting dog parks. Aside from reducing your dog’s stress, it can also do the same for you.
This can be challenging if the source of anxiety is hard to avoid. You can let your dog use a leash, body harness, or a basket muzzle to prevent putting it and others in danger. When you understand these situations, you can be ready in advance.
Finally, similar to humans, most dogs will go through anxiety in their lives. Even though not all dogs will end up having an anxiety disorder because of this, it is crucial to understand the causes and ways on how to calm dog anxiety.
As an owner, you will also have a better understanding of the other behavioral aspects of your dog. As a result, you can choose the best approach. We hope that these methods on how to help a dog with anxiety can help you.