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As we’re sure you already know, anxiety isn’t just something that many of us humans suffer from time to time – as our four-legged friends can also find themselves experiencing feelings of anxiety for a variety of different reasons – with the most common being fear of abandonment.
Similar to all other kinds of unwanted behaviors commonly seen in dogs (including frequent barking, chewing furniture, and growling) anxiety in dogs can also be treated to help alleviate symptoms of it in your dog, which will not only ensure that you are able to better manage it, but also mean that your dog’s quality of life will be elevated, too.
So, if you currently have a dog that is suffering from anxiety, then rest assured that you have clicked on the right article. Below, we are going to be talking you through some of the best ways that you can help to calm your dog from anxiety, as well as help you gain a better understanding of why it might be happening.
Let’s jump right in.
Why Do Dogs Suffer From Anxiety?
Before we jump any further, we’re first going to take a moment to talk you through some of the most common reasons why dogs tend to suffer from anxiety.
First things first, it’s important to note that anxiety can present itself in a variety of different ways, so while one dog might express anxiety through barking, another might express their anxiety by whining or shaking. However, it is very common for all dogs who suffer from anxiety or a loss of appetite, as well as to appear withdrawn and unlike their usual selves.
Wondering why dogs suffer from anxiety, though? Though it’s difficult to provide you with an accurate answer (especially given the fact that we are unable to directly communicate with them) it is generally accepted that most dogs suffer from anxiety due to a fear of abandonment by their owners, trauma from past experiences, as well as being put into a new environment that is unfamiliar to them.
In order to effectively treat anxiety, it is important to make sure that you do your best to get to the root cause of it, as this will help to stop it right in its tracks.
While the tips we share with you below will help to alleviate symptoms, we do recommend that you take your dog to the vets, where an animal medical professional will be able to assist you on what might be the root cause of your dog’s anxiety.
Ways That You Can Help Alleviate Your Dog’s Anxiety
Even though the best route of action for treating your dog’s anxiety is to take them to the vets, there are a variety of other things that you can do in combination with seeking the help of a veterinarian. Let’s check them out below:
Make Sure That Your Dog Gets Regular Exercise
First things first, one of the best ways that you can help to alleviate feelings of anxiety in your dog is to make sure that they are getting regular exercise each and every day.
When it comes to exercise, we’re sure that you’ll agree with us when we say that getting in a workout is a sure-fire way to boost our mood and help us to feel more relaxed, happy, and positive – and there are many studies that show that exercise has the exact same benefits in dogs!
By making sure that you are taking your dog for walks and other types of physical activities each day, you will help to release endorphins – which is otherwise known as the happy chemical! Ensuring that your dog has plenty of exercises will help to relieve stress and allow them to have fun while being around you.
Provide Them With Plenty of Comforts
Another way that you can help to alleviate symptoms of anxiety in your dog is by making sure that you give them plenty of physical touch and affection.
Physical contact is one of the most reassuring and comforting things you can do to help relax your dog, especially when that physical touch is coming directly from the person they trust the most… you!
The moment that you begin to sense that your dog is getting anxious, we recommend taking a few moments to try and soothe your dog through cuddling and petting.
Consider Music Therapy
If you haven’t yet tried music therapy, then you might find that it’s a game-changer. Even though music therapy is most commonly associated with humans, you might actually be pleasantly surprised to learn that dogs (as well as other types of animals) can also benefit from music as a way to alleviate feelings of anxiety and stress.
If you’re interested in trying out music therapy on your dog, then we recommend that you consider playing them classic music – as many studies have shown that dogs respond best to classical music over any other type of genre.
Give Your Dog a Massage
Did you know that dogs can benefit from a gentle massage in the same way that we can? Even though it is not well known, giving a dog a massage has the potential to help minimize symptoms of anxiety, while also helping to soothe and relax your dog when they are feeling distressed.
Seeing as anxiety can cause muscles in the neck and back to tense up, we recommend that you begin by massaging your dog’s neck and then slowly travel down the back of the neck to their back area, finishing at the shoulders.
Make Sure That Your Dog Has a Safe Space
Though this one should go without saying, we still think that it is an important point to discuss. Oftentimes when a dog feels anxious it is usually down to them feeling stressed or fearful – which is why making sure that they have a safe space to retreat to will help them tremendously with feelings of anxiety.
Just think about it: whenever you feel upset or stressed out, what is one of the first things that you do? If you’re anything like us, then you’ll agree with us when we say that one of the first things you do when you feel stressed or anxious is to retreat to your bedroom (or anywhere else that provides you with a feeling of security).
The same goes for your dog, by providing them with a safe space that is just for them, they will have a comfortable place to go when they feel anxious or upset – which will especially come in handy for dogs that suffer from separation anxiety!
Seek Medical Advice
Last but certainly not least, if you are finding that your dog’s anxiety is getting out of control – then you should be sure to take them to your vet’s clinic for medical assistance.
By taking your dog to see their vet, your dog’s vet will be able to provide you with their medical opinion on how to go about treating your dog’s anxiety. You might even find that your dog’s vet prescribes them medication to help treat it.
Seeing your favorite furry friend suffering from anxiety is never a nice thing to have to experience, and we understand how distressing this must be for both you and your dog.
However, after taking the time to read through this guide, we truly hope that the tips we have shared with you will be able to help you on your journey to alleviating the anxiety that your dog is going through.
For the most part, so long as you make sure that you are maintaining your dog’s routine, providing them with all of the comforts that make them feel safe, and ensuring that they are getting plenty of playtimes and physical exercise – you’re more than likely going to find that your dog gets back to their usual self in no time at all.
Needless to say, as a final parting note, if you are finding that your dog is experiencing very intense anxiety or nothing seems to be helping to alleviate and calm your dog – then it is very important that you seek medical assistance from your dog’s veterinarian for further guidance. Thank you for reading!