Every May, our team at Anasazi Animal Clinic in Gilbert takes a look at dog anxiety awareness in order to be more informed caretakers of our nervous canine companions. Anxiety is not only a human condition—our pets can suffer from it as well. If you notice your dog whining, barking, shivering, whimpering, or engaging in destructive or hostile behaviors, you may have an anxious dog. Anxiety is a common condition in dogs that can arise for a variety of reasons. The good news is that anxiety be treated. At the very least, dog anxiety can become manageable. At best, it can be cured completely. Keep reading for more information on what you can do to help your anxious fur baby.
Why Is My Dog Anxious?
Some common reasons for anxiety in dogs are abandonment, separation anxiety, loud sounds, travel anxiety, and being around strangers (human or animal). A good first step in lowering your dog’s anxiety is determining the exact cause of the anxiety. If you are having trouble finding the source, let us know. Once you are able to identify why your dog is anxious, you can better help her relax. Read on for some simple ways to help your dog calm down.
1. Exercise Together
Exercise is a wonderful way to reduce your dog’s anxiety level by wearing her out as well as releasing endorphins. Simultaneously, you will form a stronger bond with her by exercising together. Exercise helps your dog release the excess of energy in her body caused by anxiety. Simply playing fetch in the yard or taking a long walk together can do wonders for her stress levels—and yours!
2. Calming Shirts & Coats
Calming coats and shirts, such as the ThunderShirt, wrap your dog’s anxious body in a gentle, constant pressure, acting much like a swaddling cloth for a human baby. A calming shirt is a wonderful option for traveling, separation anxiety, situations with loud noises, and stranger danger anxiety.
3. Peace & Quiet
If your dog is obviously anxious, it may help to provide her with some silence and solitude. Some dogs find relief by taking time alone in a safe and quiet space—such as a quiet bedroom where her water bowl, bed, and favorite toys are waiting for her. Some dogs love the coziness and low-light in their crate when they are feeling nervous. Low lighting and silence or white noise can be just as soothing for your dog as it may be for you.
4. Belly Rubs
Your dog is soothed and calmed by your gentle touches. If your dog is showing signs of anxiety, try giving her a good scratch behind the ears, a belly rub, or a cuddle on the couch. A good snuggle can do wonders for your dog’s stress levels.
5. Doggy Massage
An anxious dog often suffers from tense muscles, and massage is a wonderfully therapeutic way to help your dog feel better. Start by scratching gently behind her ears, then massage her neck and work downward toward her tail with long strokes. If you feel a particularly tense place in your dog’s body, spend a little more time focusing on those muscles. Your dog will love this!
Give us a Call
These are just a few simple ways to help your dog calm down when she’s anxious. If your dog still has anxiety, be sure to talk to us about other options. Along with your vet, you can help reduce your dog’s anxiety and give her a happy, healthy life! Call Anasazi Animal Clinic in Gilbert at 480-426-8364 or contact us online to discuss anxiety treatment options for your furry friend!