Dogs can experience anxiety for a number of reasons. They might get upset when you leave the house or when they’re on a new schedule. They may have been in a fight or gone through some sort of medical trauma recently. Regardless of the cause, anxiety happens to dogs young and old for a variety of reasons.
When your dog is anxious, he or she might destroy your belongings when you leave, go to the bathroom all around the house, excessively lick or groom himself, tremble, or withdraw from you and your other pets. It hurts you to see your pet suffer, and you want to do anything you can to make him feel better. If your dog is anxious, consider these tips for calming him/her down in their time of need.
Make sure he gets exercise
Dogs go through anxiety when they have a lot of pent-up energy and no way to release it. Every dog is different when it comes to how much exercise they need, but a good rule of thumb is at least 30 minutes a day. Hunting and highly energetic breeds may need two hours of exercise per day.
Give your dog a massage
You can either go to a professional or give your dog a massage yourself. A massage can be given daily or when dogs are experiencing anxiety. Simply petting your dog could also help him or her calm down.
Condition your dog with training
If your dog is experiencing separation anxiety, give him a treat or a ball to play with whenever you leave the house. That way, he’s going to associate your departure with a positive occurrence. Instead of tearing up your furniture, he will play with the ball instead. It may take multiple tries, but eventually, your dog should learn the new behavior.
Play soothing music
Music for dogs can make them feel more at peace and calm when you’re not around to help them. You can turn them on in a thunderstorm or play them while you’re at work. Either way, they’ll make Fido feel better.
Give him space
Your dog may simply need some time alone to calm down. If your pup has a place he goes to sleep or hangs out all day, put him in there until he feels better. Once he emerges from his playroom or cage, he’ll be restored to his normal, cheerful self.
Train your dog throughout the day
Along with taking your dog for walks, you should also be exercising his/her brain as much as possible. For example, in the morning, you could make him sit for his food or do a trick for a treat. When you’re on a walk, incorporate training into it as well. If he’s mentally exhausted, he’ll be too tired to be scared or nervous.
Clothe him in a body wrap
If you’re home with your pup and he starts getting anxious, you can wrap him in an ace bandage so he’ll feel a sense of security. Just don’t leave him unattended while he’s still clothed in the wrap.
Go to your veterinarian for advice
If you’ve tried all these methods and more, and nothing is working, it’s time to talk to your dog’s veterinarian. Veterinarians are able to see the underlying issues and detect if something more serious, like a medical condition, is occurring.
Many dogs get anxious, and in certain situations, it’s only natural. However, you can usually treat your pup at home. With those solutions, you can make him feel better and be restored to his regular happy self.