Did you know that dogs can suffer from anxiety? In dogs, it’s called canine anxiety and there are three primary types: noise, separation and social. Here’s a look at what these types of anxiety look like.
Three Primary Types of Anxiety in Dogs
- Separation – Does your dog know when you get your car keys out, or your luggage that you are planning to leave? Does that trigger anxiety in him? Dogs are pack animals and don’t like being left alone. So, to burn off energy and relieve its anxiety, some dogs will resort to destructive behaviors like tearing a room apart. Also, traumatic events, and a change in the family’s routine or structure can lead to anxiety as well.
- Noise – Some pup’s associate loud noises with danger. They become anxious when they hear loud noises like a thunderstorm or fireworks. Unlike a human, however, no matter how many times the dog hears that noise, it will not get used to it.
- Social – Dogs that suffer from social anxiety usually do so because they were not properly socialized as a puppy. The dog becomes afraid of people and its surroundings and aggressive behavior can result.
7 Tips for Helping Your Anxious Dog:
Treating anxiety in a dog can be challenging, but there are things you can do to help.
- Safe Place – Create a safe place for your dog to be when you are away. The Humane Society recommends a room with a window and toys – not total isolation. It should have toys for the dog to play with, and contain unwashed clothes with your scent on them to help calm your dog.
- Exercise – Exercising your dog will help curb destructive behavior associated with separation anxiety.
- Homeopathic Remedies – There are several natural products that will reduce the feelings of anxiety without the negative side effects of medication. “Ark Naturals makes a line called Happy Traveler that incorporates natural herbs and roots like St. John’s Wort and Valerian to soothe the physical effects of anxiety and calm your dog,” says Leslie Kessinger, co-owner of Three Dog Bakery in Franklin. Happy Traveler is long-lasting and comes in either chew or capsule form. Kessinger also recommends a product called Rescue Remedy. “It’s a natural drop that can be added to a treat to calm a dog during stressful moments like fireworks, storms, or trips to the vet. It is very calming, but not as long-lasting,” she notes.If your dog has a sensitive system and you don’t want to use an ingested product, you can use essential oils or an aromatherapy spray to create a soothing atmosphere for the dog. “Gentle music or white noise machines also create an environment that helps a dog relax,” adds Kessinger.
- Stimulation – Dogs that are stressed sometimes lack stimulation. It’s important to keep their body busy and their mind relaxed.
- Arrivals & Departures – Don’t make a big deal about your departures and arrivals. Establish a word or action you use every time you leave so the dog learns that you are coming back.
- Behavior Modification/Desensitization – Expose your dog in small doses to the stimuli that’s causing its anxiety and stress – like low volume recordings of thunderstorms and small doses of exposure to social situations.
- Swaddling – Swaddling your dog during stressful situations may help calm him. Try an Anxiety Wrap or Thundershirt that will feel like a big hug when they are frightened.
The Humane Society of the United States recommends against the following tactics because they are ineffective or not applicable: punishment, getting another dog, crating, radio or television noise and obedience training.
Consulting with a professional animal behavior specialist is an option if you need additional help.
This article was brought to you by Three Dog Bakery, the only local dog bakery for fresh-baked, all-natural pastries and birthday cakes. They also offer healthy foods & treats made in the USA, homeopathic remedies, apparel, toys, & accessories to enjoy life with your dog! Three Dog Bakery has two locations in Middle Tennessee: 1556 W McEwen Dr #112, Franklin, TN 37067 & 1982 Providence Pkwy #102, Mt Juliet, TN 37122.
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