Dog anxiety is a real problem and it can be very distressing. We feel for our dogs, their pain, their suffering and it also hurts us to see them afflicted. Lots of things can cause anxiety for our dogs just as it can for us humans. Anxiety is treatable either by using prescription or natural medicine; however, these do not cure the root of the problem.
This is not to say medication shouldn’t be used, quite the contrary; they can help to calm our dogs when necessary. For example, they could be used for rehabilitation, training days, fireworks, being left alone etc.
Treating dog anxiety naturally
Many anxieties are a result of pampering our dogs when we shouldn’t. Our furry friends should be given treats and attention when they are in a calm state of mind. Dogs also need to understand boundaries and one of those is learning to be crated. Check out The secrets behind dog crate training for more information on getting to grips with this idea.
Some signs of dog anxiety are defecating, urinating, salivating, excessive barking, jumping, clingy, whining, howling, over excitability, destructive, runs around like a lunatic and more. I would encourage you to check out this related article Solutions to separation anxiety in dogs to give yourself a better idea of signs and symptoms.
We humans need to be patient and calm during any training, rehabilitation or in everyday situations. This is the key for our dogs overcoming dog anxiety; generally, our dogs are what we are.
We need to understand that we can’t give our dogs rewards when their behavior is unacceptable, or we don’t want them to do something specific. To deal with dog anxiety, we need to nurture new habits in us in order to empower our dogs with new mannerisms.
There are various ways of treating dog anxiety naturally; however, if the anxiety is really serious, a trip to your vet is probably the best option. It’s always wise to check that there isn’t an underlying illness looming, particular if the problem wasn’t there before.
- If you’re leaving the house for an hour or so, make sure your dog has plenty to do, fill a Kong with some delicious treats inside. The food needs to be challenging to remove, frozen foods can make it more difficult.
- Record an hour’s worth of your voices and leave it on repeat.
- Music to calm your canine companion; Through a Dog’s Ear by Joshua Leeds is very good.
- The valerian herb is very soothing for dog anxiety.
- Pet Naturals of Vermont, Calming, For Small Dogs. We have used these with excellent results especially when you know your neighbors are using fireworks or something similar.
- Thundershirts are an excellent choice to calm dogs down.
- Bach Pet Rescue Remedy is also very good natural calmer.
- Adaptil, D.A.P (Dog Appeasing Pheromone) Collar. These are very good, but you do have to buy them every four weeks, which work out very expensive.
- Give your dog lots of sleeping and relaxing space.
- Let your dog know what is expected of him.
- Teach him commands.
- Try changing your dogs food to a higher quality.
- Encourage your dog to play with his own toys.
- Use cues for dog anxiety; for example, once you’ve put your boots on, delay venturing out or walk around with your keys once and a while or make a cup of coffee, put your feet up etc. Throughout the day, crate your dog and reward.
- Occasionally pick up the dog leads, put them on your dog for fifteen minutes and then take them off. By doing this you are enabling your dog to be accepting and are creating new habits. This might sound silly, but exercise is a big plus in dealing with many anxieties even in us humans. This is a win-win stress reliever, not only does your dog benefit we will also.
Separation anxiety in dogs is hard to come to terms with; it can be very traumatizing and frustrating for a dog and for the owner. Anxiety is quite common in dogs and can be manifested in varying ways. For example, when dogs are left alone, solitariness makes them highly-stressed, they don’t enjoy being separated from their pack. In order to take solace, they become very destructive.
Signs of separation anxiety in dogs
- Panicking, Trembling, Digging
- Shying away,Hiding,Escaping
- Have a mind of their own,Wilful,Coprophagia
- Selective hearing,Extremely stubborn,Chewing furniture
- Distressed,Barking and howling,Defecating and urinating
One of my previous fostered dogs was extremely fearful with most things, but especially when left alone. It’s heart breaking seeing this kind of separation anxiety in dogs and fear; however, believe me, it is fixable!
Unknowingly, owners can sometimes create unwanted behaviors in their dogs. It’s common for owners to give in into their pets or treat them as if they’re babies. Check out ‘The mysteries of unleashing the best dog behavior‘ – Help your dog become balanced, obedient, trusting and have good daily etiquettes.
Rectifying separation anxiety in dogs
Long walks and beach runs are always a good idea before attempting to leave your dog alone. A tired dog is a happy dog – period! They will have eliminated their bowels and bladders; and they’ll be too exhausted to kick a fuss.
Dealing with separation anxiety in dogs before leaving the house has to be done very slowly. You should prepare to go out unhurriedly, making sure you and your dog are always calm. If you’re preparing a practice run, never leave the house if your dogs are stressed.
Always create trust by building your time away from the home in five to ten-minute increments until you’ve reached your goal. Before leaving or returning to the house, ignore them for at least ten minutes. It’s a lot of work, but it does pay off.
Sometimes, separation anxiety in dogs can be hard going on us humans. Ignoring their yelps when you return home is even more difficult, especially when you’re sure you heard your dog say ‘hello’, or ‘I love you’!
Often anxiety can be caused by lack of leadership skills, sometimes the dog will believe he is the leader and feels he needs to protect the owner; this is not ideal!
Lack of exercise can cause nervous disposition in dogs; it can make them very scatty. To combat this, always ensure your dog is extra tired by giving him plenty of daily exercise. When you’re out, crate him and leave a toy to ensure he doesn’t become bored. A tired dog is generally a happy dog!
Consider the benefits of crate training, put your reservations on the back-burner, go out and buy one, they are excellent. Once a dog is accustomed to a crate, he will feel an immense sense of security and comfort – it literally becomes their den. Buying a crate will be one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make! Check out ‘The secrets behind dog crate training‘. Crates are usually for dogs that have anxiety issues; however, many well-behaved dogs love crates. From long term experience, crates definitely rectify and improve most behavioral issues.
Separation anxiety in dogs could be masking a health issue, consult your veterinarian if you suspect your dog is ill.
Trying out these procedures could conquer separation anxiety in dogs within a few days if it’s fairly mild. However, it could take a few weeks or months depending upon the age of your dog, and how long he’s had the problem.