Reducing your dog’s anxiety may seem like a losing battle, but it is possible! By being patient, diligent, proactive, and staying positive, you can help your canine find a more peaceful state. The following are 4 ways to reduce your dog’s anxiety.
1. CHECK YOURSELF
Your behavior is vital in reducing or magnifying anxiety in your dog. A dog’s stress levels often reflect those around him. Presenting a calm, patient energy will positively influence your dog’s attitude and behavior. When you feel your anxiety rising and start to lose your temper, take a breather and briefly separate yourself from your dog. Avoiding emotional reactions, maintaining a calm tone, and making slow and steady movements will put your dog at ease.
2. LEARN THEIR TRIGGERS
Learning and recognizing your dog’s triggers such as other dogs, loud noises, etc. will put you in a better position to prevent them when possible. If you can’t prevent exposure to the dog’s triggers, try to be prepared. Having a plan in place including distracting with treats or walking in an opposite direction will help keep your sanity as well as your dog’s. You may not be able to eliminate triggers or your dog’s reaction to them, but learning their triggers and planning accordingly puts you in a better position than failing to plan and prepare.
3. INVEST IN TRAINING & BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION
Working on behavior modification techniques can not only prevent anxiety but can also help to address it. Psitive reconditioning is a technique that is widely used in dog training. In layman’s terms, this technique teaches your dog a new response to the triggers and subsequent reactions.
A well-seasoned dog trainer modified behavior slowly and gently. They expose your dog to his or her triggers in a controlled environment. They then work to elicit a positive response to the trigger. Reconditioning is usually done by showering the dog with something he loves while simultaneously exposing them to the trigger. Trainers may use toys, games, food, and anything that has greater value to your dog than their fear/trigger. Positive reconditioning could take weeks, months, or longer. It should only be attempted under the guidance of a trusted and reputable positive-reinforcement-based dog trainer or behavior consultant.
Behavior modification and training can boost a dog’s engagement and self-confidence, which often leads to a more positive outlook and relaxed demeanor.
4. CONSIDER MEDICATION
There are several medications and supplements that can be used to reduce anxiety in dogs. Please discuss medication and supplementation with your veterinary team. Your veterinarian will want to rule out any medical conditions that may cause or mimic anxiety symptoms. In addition, discuss discontinuing medication with your veterinarian. Many anxiety medications must be stopped gradually and under the supervision of a veterinarian.
To begin with, many dog lovers have found that Sileo for dogs is a great option for noise-induced anxiety. We mentioned this FDA-approved medicine in a recent blog. This prescription-only product is an easy-to-administer gel that takes the edge off during fireworks, storms, and other noisy situations. We recommend you discuss dosage and trial runs with your veterinarian long before the next noisy event or holiday.
5. CONSIDER SUPPLEMENTATION & NATURAL SUPPORT
Bach Rescue Remedy is a popular over-the-counter option that is said to reduce anxiety in dogs. This all-natural product is alcohol-free and provides relief without the drowsy effects of some prescription drugs. Rescue Remedy is relaxes your dog by using a combination of flower essences. Simply add a few drops of the tincture to your dog’s water or rub the flower essences onto your dog’s paws or ears. The Bach company has been around for over 90 years and has a longstanding reputation for effective natural products for dogs and their human counterparts.
Finally, Sentry Calming Spray is reduces anxiety in dogs using calming pheromones. The pheromones in the formulation are similar to those released by a mother dog after giving birth to her pups. These naturally-occurring pheromones reduce stress from live birth, which is what inspired these calming products. Sentry calming products, also available in diffusers, chews, and collars, can be purchased over the counter in most pet supply stores.
Remember, it all begins with you! There’s a plethora of research out there to help YOU help your dog. Knowing your dog’s triggers, having a plan, and most importantly, being patient can set your dog up for success.
In the meantime, let us know if we can help in the process. Our midday dog walking services and travel pet sitting are excellent options for anxious dogs because they get much-needed attention from trusted caregivers in the comfort of their home. To learn more about our services, review our services or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (281) 391-1015.
Animal Admiration Pet Care Services offers pet sitting, dog walking and cat sitting in the Houston, Katy, and Cypress areas.