Your dog's anxiety

Just like humans, dogs experience significant stress, which can lead to anxiety.  We have all heard of the stereotypical examples of dogs reacting to being in the car (for fear of the vet), fireworks, and entering new spaces.  Fear of leaving you, large crowds, other dogs, and moving can also cause emotional issues and increase your dog’s anxiety.

How do you know if your dog has anxiety?

Well, since they cannot speak, you have to watch for certain cues.  Dogs experiencing anxiety may bark aggressively, run around your home out of control, or withdraw trembling, hiding, or not leave your side.  Any behavior that is peculiar could be a cause for concern.

What can you do to ease your dog’s anxiety?

It is always a good idea to talk to your veterinarian about your dog’s anxiety. A qualified professional will be able to determine if your pet has a medical problem or if there are certain environmental changes that can be made

Spend time with your best friend

Having a close bond with you can help your pet through times of change and when they have to be alone.  When you spend time with your dog, they know you care and will be assured you will always be there for them.  However, be careful not to over-coddle your pet.  Sometimes when you try to snuggle or lay too close, they may think feel threatened and that they are being attacked.

Reducing noise to help ease your dog’s anxiety

A quieter environment can be helpful if your dog is stressed.  This is especially important if you live in a city, or during times of extreme noise, like fireworks.  Keep music and TV volumes low.

Let’s go outside!

Being outdoors can be one of the best things for your dog’s anxiety and help ease a stressed-out pooch.  Dogs love to interact with nature, and it can help them relax by enjoying the sunshine and finding places to explore and sniff. Just like it can be for humans, exercise is a fantastic mood-lifter for dogs.

Time to get social

Socialization is important for dogs who are stressed when around other pets.  Your best friend may have a hard time making other furry friends.  Take care when visiting a dog park. One bad experience could cause future problems and only increase your dog’s anxiety, so to ease into social situation, it’s a good idea to avoid aggressive animals.  Always ask other dog owners before approaching too closely, “Is your dog friendly?” and then carefully observe interaction once given the O.K.

Getting your dog through an anxious time can be a great bonding experience for you and your best friend.  Quiet baths, playtime outdoors, and appropriate snuggle time will give them the emotional assurance they need when navigating the world with and without you.