Reducing your dog’s anxiety may seem like a losing battle, but it is possible! By being patient, diligent, proactive and hopeful, you can help your canine friend. There are ways to reduce and prevent anxiety in your dog as well as keep him safe from fleeing.
Preventing Anxiety in your Dog
Your behavior will dictate the best success in reducing anxiety in your dog. A dog’s level of anxiety and temperament often reflects that of those he has the most direct exposure and connection to. Presenting a calm, patient attitude will significantly influence your dog. When you feel your anxiety and temper elevating, it’s always best to take a breather and separate yourself from your dog for a brief period of time. That may not always be possible, but make the effort. In the moment do your best to not be reactive.
Being proactive is another tool to prevent anxiety in your dog. Being aware of the triggers of your dog’s anxiety will put you in a better position to prevent it. Avoiding your dog’s triggers will not always be possible, but do so when you can. If you can’t, knowing the triggers will put you in a position to be as prepared as possible. The wait and see frame of mind is never a good idea. Having a plan in place will help your sanity as well as play a significant role in preventing your dog’s anxiety, or at least giving you the ability to reduce it.
Working on behavior modification techniques can not only prevent anxiety, but can potentially be a tool to eliminate it completely. One such technique is positive reconditioning. In laymen’s terms, you this technique guides you to help your dog learn a new response to the triggers of his anxious mindset and subsequent behaviors. You do this by exposing your dog to his triggers in a controlled environment. You then work to illicit a positive response by showering your with something he loves while simultaneously being exposed to the trigger. Think toys, games, food, hugs and any other things that your dog loves! Your patience will be needed over a period of time for this to work. Positive reconditioning could take weeks, months or even longer.
Calming your Anxious Dog
Speaking of having a plan in place, we have a few tips and ideas to help reduce your dog’s anxiety and keep him as calm as possible in the moments or hours that he’s suffering. There are a few highly regarded products on the market to help calm your dog while he’s anxious. First, let’s mention again Sileo for dogs. We mentioned this FDA approved medicine in a recent blog. This product specifically treats the behavior response to noise aversion in dogs. It’s an easy to administer gel product that must be prescribed by a veterinarian. Take a peek at that blog to read more on that product.
Another popular over the counter product is Bach Rescue Remedy. This all natural product is alcohol free and provides relief to your dog without making him loopy. Rescue Remedy relaxes your dog through a combination of flower essences. Simply add a few drops to your dog’s water and within a short period of time, your dog will be on his way to feeling less anxious and stressed. You can also 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 known to reduce anxiety in dogs. This natural product uses pheromones to calm your dog. If not familiar to you already, pheromones are released from a mother dog just after giving birth to her pups. Those pheromones reduce stress from live birth. So, the pheromones in Sentry Calming Spray mock those that the mother dog releases. Similar to Bach Rescue Remedy, Sentry Calming Spray may also be purchased over the counter. Sentry also offers similar products in the form of diffusers, chews and collars.
Remember, it all begins with you! It doesn’t end here either. There’s a plethora or research out there to help you help your dog. Know your dog’s triggers to his anxiety, put a plan in place, be flexible and most importantly, be patient!