10 Tips To Calm An Anxious Dog

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Do you worry that your dog is starting to feel nervous or stressed out? It is common for dogs to feel this way sometimes, just like people do. Fortunately, there are solutions you can use to assist your furry friend become more relaxed. We list 10 tips to calm an anxious dog. 

Create a Safe Space

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Set up a quiet, safe area in your home where your dog can retreat from noise or anxiety-producing events. This may be a crate with soft bedding, a cozy corner with a blanket, or a sunbeam by a window. Be sure the space includes some familiar items, such as a beloved toy or a used article of clothing that has your scent.

Stick to a Routine

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Dogs are creatures of routine, as it helps them feel secure. Maintaining a regular schedule for feeding, walks, playtime, and bedtime can significantly reduce anxiety and stress. As much as feasible, feed your dog at consistent times every day. Also, strive to preserve a steady pattern for walks and playtime as well. 

Use Calming Music

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Music affects dogs similarly to how it influences humans. Soft, classical tunes or pet-specific playlists may have a relaxing impact on your canine friend. Play calming music whenever your dog is prone to become anxious, like during a storm or if you are in the process of leaving your house. 

Provide Physical Contact

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Physical touch is an extremely helpful element in calming an anxious dog. Soft petting and cuddling can provide comfort and security. Massage your pet in parts they appreciate being touched, such as behind their ears, under their chin, and over their back. Physical touch helps distribute the hormone oxytocin, which assists in generating bonds and alleviating tension.

Provide Physical Exercise

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Exercise is essential for your dog’s physical and mental well-being. Promote vigorous activity levels to help dissipate excess energy and thereby minimize tension—a relief to dogs carrying a great deal of anxiety. Alter the exercise intensity and duration based on age, breed, and well-being. A tired dog is typically a joyful and less anxious dog. 

Desensitize Them

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Desensitization involves exposing your dog to the fear-inducing event in certain ways. Begin with short, low-intensity exposures and gradually build up in intensity and length as your dog becomes more comfortable. For example, if your dog is afraid of thunderstorms, one might play thunder recordings starting at a very minimal sound and develop sound levels over time. 

Use Calming Products

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Products such as the ThunderShirt are anxiety vests that fit snugly around your dog’s body. They resemble a constant hug and wrap, calming the dog due to the feeling of relaxation. Calming collars and diffusers contain pheromones simulating the natural soothing signals that adult dogs convey to their puppies. 

Offer Mental Stimulation

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Make sure your dog is also mentally stimulated. Boredom will only feed the anxiety, so keep their mind busy with puzzle toys, treat dispenser toys, and quick training sessions that will exercise your dog’s mind and body. All of this will also work as a high-quality distraction.

Try Natural Remedies

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Some dogs respond well to natural supplements or remedies that have an anxiety-reducing effect. For example, CBD oil, chamomile, and valerian root are known for their calming effects and are commonly used alongside other treatments. These are not a standalone solution and are best used as an additional means of managing anxiety. Consult your veterinarian before using.

Seek Professional Help

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If your dog’s anxiety is severe and occurs regularly, consult a veterinarian or a certified animal behaviorist. They will help identify the severity and the causes of the condition and advise on a comprehensive treatment plan, which might involve behavior therapy, medication, or a combination of both. Ultimately, if managed correctly, anxiety in dogs can be controlled.


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