How to Reduce Anxiety and Stress in Dogs
Dogs engage in complex and subtle interactions with other dogs, with their humans and even with other species. Some of these interactions can cause stress, and dogs may suffer from stress, without their owners being aware of the unique factors causing their dog’s condition.
Depending on the dog, stress can manifest itself in a wide variety of psychological and behavioral ways including excessive stomach acid (which can lead to vomiting), intestinal excitement (which can lead to diarrhea), eating too quickly, destructive behavior, antisocial behavior or erratic behavior.
If you have a dog, you know what a great companion they are. But how do you keep your pup happy, healthy and how to reduce anxiety and stress in dogs? Here are just a few tips to make sure your dog lives a happy, healthy and reduce anxiety and stress in dogs life.
👨⚕️ When to Contact your Veterinarian
If it anytime you feel your dog is not improving, the condition is getting worse or other symptoms develop, please see your veterinarian immediately.
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💭 The Solution for Anxiety and Stress in Dogs
Using one or two of the approaches below, it may help some dogs. Other dogs may require more changes.
🐶 Spend 10 to 20 Minutes Quality Time with your Dog.
The only way to learn how to spend quality time with your dog is to spend time with your dog. Spend time with your dog in a positive way.
At first, you may feel awkward in social situations with your dog, and that is normal. You are a new puppy to the world and you are a new puppy to your dog as well.
🐩 Brush your Dog
Grooming is a great way to spend time with your dog. For most dogs grooming is a calming interaction.
If your dog is not keen on brushing, try different brushes until you find one he likes. Some dogs like natural fiber, others like wire pin brushes.
🐕 Play with your Dog
Interactive play is fun, increases your dog’s activity level and enables you to make sure he isn’t swallowing his toys.
🐕🦺 Take your dog for a walk
Daily exercise is essential to the mental and physical well-being, anxiety and stress in dogs of all ages, breeds and sizes.
Most dogs need at least 20 minutes of exercise twice per day. Some dogs may need more.
During lousy weather walk your dog inside or check a local hardware store where they allow dogs. Many hardware stores welcome dogs and dog owners have a warm dry place to walk, socialize and discuss dogs and home improvement.
🐾 Improve the Security of your House from your Dogs Perspective
If you have a dog and a home, you know how valuable it is to keep them safe. So, it’s only natural to want to protect them from themselves.
🍖 Reduce Competition at Feeding Time
If there are other animals in your house, dogs, cats, bunnies, etc. your dog may feel stressed by perceived competition for his food.
You can reduce his anxiety by putting food bowls for different animals in different parts of your house.
🏘️ Provide your Dog with a Den
In the wild, dogs retreat to their dens if they feel threatened. Providing your dog with a safe place inside your house that functions like his den is likely to increase his sense of security and reduce his stress level.
Crates and kennels a perfect den substitutes. Crates and kennels should be large enough that your dog can stand and turn around comfortably. Introduce the crate or kennel by having your dogs spend a few minutes inside. Gradually increase the amount of time your dog spends in his crate or kennel. Reward your dog for displaying good behavior in his crate kennel, especially when he is still using it.
Don’t want to crate or kennel your dog? Have a room or safe space that’s just theirs where they can go to sleep or feel secure. During times like July 4th, some dogs may prefer the confines of a bathroom with some music playing to help drown out the noise.
Personally, I have a smaller room where my dogs know they can go to in times of stress of simply to sleep. Ruby, my Goldendoodle likes to sleep in a corner of a bed upstairs. Callie, my Labrador Retriever, likes to be at my feet, in whatever room I’m in at the moment. I am her safety blanket!
🦴 Give him Toys and Treats that are Good to Eat or Chew
Chewing may release endorphins, feel good hormones, that reduce anxiety. Good to chew treats and toys provide dental exercise the dogs need and help to reduce stress causing boredom.
Raw bones are tasty and a significant source of naturally occurring vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are cooked out of most foods.
Treat dispensing toys such as the Bob-a-lot or Thinkrageous Interactive Puzzles, which provides lots of happiness with less mess than raw bones and so do bully sticks, compressed rawhide and Himalayan dog chews, irresistible long lasting treats made from yaks milk.
Chewing is not a risk-free activity; there’s always a chance the dog will break off a large piece of anything that is chewing and choke on it. You can reduce stress but not entirely illuminate this risk by choosing well-made treats and toys that are the right size and durability for your dog and by supervising him when he’s chewing.
👩🏻🍳 Alternative Approaches to Reducing Canine Stress
The following additional approaches can be very effective in calming over stress dogs, but they more of the symptoms than at the original cause of the stress.
Herbal therapy many dogs respond well to coming coming perfectly legal herbs are herbal supplements that have proven very effective for dogs.
- Skullcap and Oat Flower.
- Canine Matrix Zen,
- HerbSmith Calm Shen, and
- Hilton Herbs Tranquility
For dogs suffering from chronic stress, try a daily dose for 6 to 8 weeks, then continue, reduce or discontinue based on results. Also consider using an herbal calmative to help dogs through specific challenges such as a trip to the vet or groomer, and stay at a boarding facility, or Fourth of July fireworks.
- Bach Rescue Remedy,
- Ark Naturals Happy Traveler,
- Animal Essentials Tranquility and
- Veterans Science Composer work well in these situations.
Made of a stretchy material, thunder shirt so the dogs by providing gentle even pressure on their backs, chests and tummies. Results are immediate and often dramatic.
Music. Music hath charms to “soothe the savage beast”… wrote that early 18th century play right Congreve. 300 years later, music still does. Try a calming melody at a low volume.
🐕 Airborne Phermones
Airborne pheromones. You can infuse dog appeasing pheromones into your dog’s environment with Adaptil Infuser's. DAP is a hormone that is naturally produced by dogs and has a calming effect on them.
🐕🦺 Results from Reducing Stress in Dogs
Improving your dog's social interactions with you, making his environment more secure and giving him lots of good things to chew will positively affect him immediately, although changes in ingrained stress related behaviors may not become clear for several weeks.
Alternative approaches to stress reduction, except for thunder shirts, may take 6 to 8 weeks to show results.
⭐ Final Thoughts
Stress dogs frequently eat too quickly, which is a habit that can lead to digestive problems. If this describes your dog, here are techniques for slowing down his eating.
Smaller, more frequent meals. Use a timed feeder or simply divide your dogs daily feeding into 2 to 4 small portions spread out over the day. Don’t free feed. Stress dogs are particularly like to gorge themselves if given the opportunity.
Increase the kibble size. If your dog is eating too fast, increasing the size of his kibble can slow his eating down.
Make eating more challenging. You can do this by elevating His bowl, using specially designed bowls, like the slow feeder bowl, or with the food dispensing toy.