How to Calm
an Anxious Dog
Anxiety is not something people only face. Many dogs suffer from this trait as well. Dog anxiety and fear are natural reactions to different stressors, such as car rides, fireworks, thunderstorms, dogs separated from their owner, etc. Triggered stress hormones can result in unusual dog behavior. For example, distressed dogs tend to bark or howl when their owner isn’t home, bite, chew on furniture, run away cowering, shivering, or pant and pace even when it is not hot outside.
No dog owner wants to see their furry friend distressed like that. Luckily, there are ways you can help your dog through these episodes and support them to foster a much more peaceful mindset. For guidance, here are some of the top ways you can use to help calm your dog and enhance their quality of life.
Exercise, for both humans and dogs, is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety. Released endorphins can boost their mood, help balance their hormones, and stabilize them. Though all dogs should get adequate exercise each day, it is especially vital that you focus on this if your dog has frequented anxious episodes.
Remove Triggers if You Can
By removing triggers for your dog, they will either become less anxious or remediated altogether. Though this might not be achievable for some things, it can work for the others that you can control. For instance, if your dog is anxious around other dogs, consider taking them for walks in a more secluded area, or places where fewer people tend to venture around. You can always limit time away from the house too, and let them run around your yard if you have space instead.
So you ask how to calm an anxious dog?…Be there for your dog. Let your dog know that you care and prove to them that you will never push them away when they need you the most. Like babies and toddlers, sometimes all a dog needs is to cuddle up, feel your warmth, and be reminded that they are safe. Wrap them up in their favorite blanket, give them their favorite toy, and snuggle. That, in of itself, can make them feel much more at peace.
Talk to Your Vet
If you have tried every tactic to calm your dog and your pup is still fearful and upset, then consult their vet to see what they suggest. Many owners fear that the side effects of medication will dim their dog’s fun-loving personality.
If you are looking for alternative options, you can consult with your vet about trying doggy CBD as opposed to going with other methods. If there is still no improvement, dive into other options suggested by your vet.
How to Calm an Anxious Dog Around Loud Noises
Now, let’s say your dog tends to freak out when they are around loud situations. For instance, if there is a big thunderstorm brewing, or fireworks going off, many dog’s fight or flight responses are triggered. The loudness and unpredictability can lead to your dog thinking they are in danger, like what happens to small children in the same scenarios. So, how can you calm a dog in cases such as firework celebrations? Read some tips below:
Before the fireworks start, make sure to fill your dog’s water dish, and feed your dog. Generally, scared dogs get thirsty quicker from panting more. You can also go for a walk with them before it gets dark out to help them feel more relaxed and calm.
Have a Safe Den
This can be any place that your dog likes to go to, such as a crate to feel closed in and safe. Make sure their safe den is accessible (meaning do not tie them outside unable to retreat), contains their favorite toy, has dog treats, their blanket, and you could even put in an unwashed piece of your clothing to have your scent in there with them. Furthermore, any windows near this area should be closed, and the shades should be drawn.
If you notice your dog getting scared, try to distract them from what is going on. You can do this by bringing them inside and turning on the TV to drown out the noise and comfort them.
CBD is a fantastic solution that may calm animals down in stressful situations. Consult with your vet and consider investing in some dog-friendly CBD tinctures to get them to relax and feel so much better.
Act Normal and Positive
Please do not yell or curse at your scared dog. This will only make them feel worse and escalate their negative feelings even more. When they seek comfort from you, give it to them and do not neglect their needs. Be positive, reassuring, and do not express fear, since that could reinforce the issue.
If you suspect or are completely sure that your dog suffers from anxiety, or is triggered by certain things such as fireworks mentioned above, then you have already taken a step in the right direction by looking for ways on how to calm an anxious dog. Take these tips, use them when needed, and watch how much more soothed your pup will become.