Dog Anxiety Help: How to Calm Down an Anxious Dog

When it comes to individuals, anxiety may sometimes feel like an overwhelming and terrible force. In the event that you have a dog who battles with fear, anxiety, or stress, it is essential to provide an environment that is supportive and patient.

Dog Anxiety Help

Although it is feasible to calm a dog who is frequently worried, doing so may require you to work together with your veterinarian or with a veterinary behaviorist who is board-certified before you can achieve this goal.

For those of you who have a dog that is anxious, the following information will provide you with some insights that you can use to recognize the indicators and triggers, as well as steps that you can do to assist soothe your dog’s anxiety and enhance their quality of life.

Recognize the Signs of Dog Anxiety

Dogs are able to convey their emotions through their body language, according to Ashley Atkinson, a Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Ka, who works as a behavior consultant at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.

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It is possible that your dog is expressing worry, stress, or terror if, for instance, they appear unsettled or if they are obsessed with licking. Dog anxiety help can manifest itself in a variety of subtle ways.

As stated by Dr. Susan Konecny, RN, DVM, who serves as the medical director of the Best Friends Animal Society, the following are some examples of clinical signs:

  • Pacing
  • Trembling
  • Shaking
  • Hypervigilance
  • Lip licking
  • Frequent yawning
  • Decreased appetite

She goes on to state that the following are some of the physiological impacts that worry can have:

  • Increased salivation or drooling
  • Dilated pupils
  • Increased heart rate and panting
  • Skin lesions from self-trauma
  • Over-grooming

Talk With Your Veterinarian About Your Dog’s Anxiety

You will be able to begin determining the triggers that are causing your dog to experience anxiety once you have learned how to recognize when your dog is experiencing anxiety.

The indications that you observe should be written down, and you should also describe the conditions and circumstances that occurred when your dog displayed these signs. The next step is to make an appointment with your veterinarian so that they can help you ensure that your dog receives the appropriate treatment and rule out any underlying medical conditions.

In the event that a change in behavior is observed in a pet, it is possible that the creature is experiencing medical issues in other parts of the body. It is possible for your veterinarian to carry out diagnostic tests in order to verify that your pet is healthy in all other respects.

In every circumstance, it is best to seek the assistance of your veterinarian in order to guarantee that you are doing everything in your power to care for your dog. If your veterinarian is unable to identify any other potential causes, they may consult a veterinary behaviorist or prescribe anxiety medication if it is believed that it is necessary.

Board-Certified Veterinary Behaviorists

If your veterinarian believes that it is essential, they may suggest that you seek assistance from a veterinary behaviorist who is board-certified in order to assist your dog.

These veterinary professionals are considered specialists since they have completed a residency program in clinical behavior medicine that lasted for three years or more and have also passed a board-certification exam. Pets suffering from fear, anxiety, and aggression can be effectively treated by veterinary behaviorists who have earned board certification.

When you visit the website of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, you will see a directory that contains the names of board-certified veterinary behaviorists who are located in your area.

Tips for Calming Your Dog’s Anxiety

In order to alleviate your dog’s anxiety, your veterinarian can assist you in developing a strategy, which may involve the measures that are to be described below. There are certain straightforward procedures that you may perform at home, while others call for the supervision of your veterinarian.

Remove Triggers That Cause Your Dog’s Anxiety

If you have already seen your veterinarian to rule out other ailments and they have assisted you in identifying probable stressors, then it may be as simple as removing those stressors and observing whether or not your dog anxiety help decreases as a result.

It is possible, for instance, to avoid taking your dog to the dog park if he or she is fearful of other dogs or people. You also have the option of taking your dog for walks during times when there are fewer people outdoors, playing with him in a fenced yard if you have one, or playing games within the house.

Try Dog Appeasing Pheromones

Dog appeasing pheromones are synthetic pheromones that are comparable to the calming pheromones that female dogs emit when they are nursing their puppies.

The anxiety that some dogs experience can be alleviated with the use of these pheromones, which are available in a few different forms. As a result of the availability of collars, sprays, and diffusers, you are able to select the most suitable alternative for your dog.

Exercise With Your Dog

Research studies have shown that higher levels of activity in dogs are connected with lower levels of aggression, fear, and separation anxiety. activity may help us deal with our own worry, and it has also been demonstrated to assist dogs deal with similar anxiety.

Create a Sanctuary Space

The anxiety that certain dogs experience in particular circumstances is so severe that no amount of calming, praising, or rewarding will be able to alleviate their distress. What Dr. Konecny has to say about this situation is that “when this is the case, they need a quiet space with no stimulation where they can turn off all the input and simply unwind.”

This can help in many situations, such as if they are nervous:

  • When visitors come to your home
  • During loud noise events (fireworks or thunderstorms)

In their sanctuary room, they can find it helpful to drown out ambient sounds using white noise in order to become more relaxed.

Ask Your Veterinarian About Anti-Anxiety Medications

In the event that your canine companion is experiencing genuine anxiety, you may wish to consult with your veterinarian on the possibility of administering anti-anxiety drugs.

Some pet parents worry about using these medications:

  • Will it make their dog sleepy all the time?
  • Will it change their personality?
  • Will these types of medications shorten their dog’s lifespan?

Your pet should display less anxiety, appear happier, and maintain the same personality after receiving the appropriate meds for treatment. A board-certified veterinary behaviorist may assist you in locating the most appropriate prescription for your dog in order to ensure that they are able to flourish, in the event that your veterinarian is unsure of what to give.

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Try Behavior Modification

When treating behavioral issues in pets, it is sometimes necessary to employ extra treatment approaches. You may be able to alter the emotional response that your dog has to situations or triggers that are offensive to him through the use of behavior modification.

With the help of this cognitive therapy, your dog will be able to learn to control his anxiety and become less fearful of stressful situations. In certain circumstances, a dog may be able to be helped by behavior modification to the point that they will no longer require the intervention of drugs.

Regarding this matter, a veterinarian behaviorist is also able to provide assistance to you.

Be Supportive Dog Anxiety Help

There are a number of things that can be done to improve the quality of life for your nervous dog, including learning and avoiding the things that give your dog worry, ruling out the possibility of underlying disorders, and obtaining professional assistance.



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