If your dog is experiencing anxiety issues or seemingly stressful situations and you are not only worried but becoming frustrated, then you are not alone. And, given that pups so precious to all pet parents, it’s understandable that you don’t want to give him chemical medicines unnecessarily.
Any pet can become stressed and anxious when it experiences changes in its immediate environment and this includes loud noises like fireworks, shouting, or thunderstorms. If you have returned to work after a hiatus, then it is likely you will have to be spending more time at the office and if your pup isn’t used to being left alone, separation anxiety is a common occurrence.
A pup that suffers from separation anxiety or from loud noises is any dog owner’s biggest nightmare. Not only can your dog’s anxious feelings and behaviors affect your own mental wellbeing, but it can also you consumed with worry and guilt. The vast majority of dog owners will see their dog as a family member and rightly so! Where else are we able to experience such a degree of unconditional love that seems to never stop giving? And, just as we would be concerned for a close family member who was going through bouts of anxiety or fear, we become equally preoccupied for our four-legged friends.
If you have noticed that your dog seems to be breathing heavier than usual and their labored breathing is not directly related to exercise or play, then it could be cause for concern, as it could be something more sinister, such as heat stroke, an allergic reaction, a blood disorder, lung disease, respiratory problems, or even something trapped in the dog’s mouth. There is a huge difference between normal panting, which is a dog’s equivalent of sweating and heavy breathing, especially when it seems to be almost continuous.
All dogs bark. However, a dog that barks continuously when left alone can be a big problem, especially if you are not lucky enough to live in a detached house out in the countryside. And there is nothing worse than facing a hectic day in the office, only to come home to complaints from your neighbors that your dog is barking all day and his incessant yapping is driving them mad.
Anxiety in dogs is one of the most common situations that a dog owner will have to help manage, as it can become debilitating enough to prevent your pooch from enjoying all sorts of activities that he would normally adore. Going for a walk to the local park to play with his doggie pals is no longer enticing to your pup when he is suffering from bad anxiety, which is why it is especially important to find the right tools to help him relax and go back to having fun again!
Fortunately, there are several easy remedies that you can use to soothe your dog’s anxiety and the great thing is, they are entirely natural! So, there is no need to worry about dosing your precious pup up with potentially harmful pharmaceuticals that may cause some negative side effects.
Before we delve into exploring some methods that could be the solution to calming the anxiety that your pet is experiencing, let’s first look at the different types of anxiety, so you can get a clearer understanding of where it comes from.
Behavioral vs. Situational Dog Anxiety
The two main types of anxiety in dogs are behavioral and situational. Behavioral anxiety is more of a permanent thing, whereby your dog is continuously anxious that can be triggered by a variety of different stimuli. The most commonly experienced type of behavioral anxiety is separation anxiety that currently affects around 14% of dogs worldwide and means that owners struggle to leave their dogs alone for any period of time, as their pup just can’t deal with being away from them.
The second type of anxiety in dogs is known as situational, which is where there is a specific trigger for their nervous episodes like thunderstorms or fireworks. Some dogs even have panic attacks when they know it is time for a bath or a visit to the doggy doctor!
Regardless of the type of anxiety that your four-legged friend is experiencing, it is essential that you nip it in the bud as soon as possible and help them to overcome their worries and fears; otherwise, they could become destructive and, in some cases, demonstrate aggression!
The Problem with Traditional Treatments
Even though more people are turning to natural remedies for their ailments, a conventional vet will still more than likely prescribe pharmaceutical anti-anxiety medication for your pup. These are usually benzodiazepines, which could cause negative side effects; so many pet owners prefer not to use this method unless they are completely out of options.
Thankfully, you don’t just have to rely on potentially toxic pharmaceuticals to cure your pup’s anxiety, as here are six excellent natural remedies that have worked to soothe dogs all around the world.
CBD Oil or Dog Treats
People are going crazy for CBD oil as medication, as it has already proven its worth as a powerful healing remedy. Dog owners are also now turning to CBD-infused dog treats and oil due to its countless benefits. It can help with pain, arthritis and most importantly, anxiety. It could put an end to an anxious dog, and bring out that pup love once more.
How Does CBD Work?
When it comes to healing the body, CBD does this via the natural endocannabinoid system. Your dog’s central nervous system is full of cannabinoid receptors, which are triggered to release increased levels of Serotonin—a natural mood stabilizer. Existing research has shown that CBD will interact with the CNS to soothe your pup’s anxiety. Many pet parents love to give their dogs CBD-infused dog treats, as they are much tastier than the oil and most dogs will wolf them down happily. They are also fast acting, meaning you won’t have to wait for weeks or months to see positive results.
Herbal remedies like Bach’s rescue remedy can offer speedy relief for bouts of nervous behavior and they are entirely safe to use. Some medicinal herbs are very specific with regards to what they can combat, so before purchasing any homeopathic remedies, try to pinpoint the source of your pup’s anxiety and find one that will treat the issue specifically.
Before we embark on the subject of essential oils, it is important to realize that not all essential oils are safe to use with dogs. Our pooches can be very sensitive when it comes to certain smells, so it is important to stick to using only the safe essential oils like Lavender and Violet Leaf. Lavender is fantastic for both humans and animals when it comes to inducing a sense of calm and relaxation.
Certain herbs like chamomile can have wonderful therapeutic and relaxing effects on your dog. Chamomile is a powerful sedative and it also works to soothe your dog’s stomach at the same time! You can usually find pure herbal tinctures at your local health store, so simply add a couple of drops into your dog’s water bowl and increase the dose until you start seeing results.
Background noise like the television or radio can be an excellent option to calm your dog if he suffers from separation anxiety. If your dog’s biggest fear is to be left on his own, then hearing voices or music will help him to feel less alone.
A tired pup is a happy pup and any dog behaviorist will tell you that exercise is essential to rid any nervous energy that your pet might be storing. If you know you will be going out for a longer period of time than normal, be sure to take your dog on a long walk or jog so that he will be too tired to notice you are gone!
Natural remedies are a great option to try, as they can provide nothing but benefits for the body. A little bit of trial and error will be required in order to find the winning combination that works for your pup’s anxiety, but it will be worth it in the end! If in doubt, there are plenty of reliable information sources online that can provide you with further information, as well as your local veterinary clinic.
Being a dog owner is highly rewarding, but can also be very daunting! When your dog is a puppy, you never know what could be on the horizon with regards to behavioral traits. At one point or another, it is likely that you may have to deal with anxiety issues that can cause serious problems if left untreated. Loud noises, separation anxiety, phobias, and many other triggers can cause fear and anxiety, and even destructive behavior in your beloved pet. Dog anxiety is a tricky disorder to deal with that will require you to be extremely patient and persistent. If you can pinpoint the source of your dog’s anxiety, it will be much easier to manage.
Those who have suffered depression know how incredibly difficult life can become. Mental health is very complicated and it can take a long time to establish the most effective approach. You may have heard about anxiety and stress in dogs but what about depression? Can dogs really become depressed? The expression “suffer in silence” springs to mind when you think about dogs becoming depressed due to their inability to tell you how they feel. So, what can you do to help them?
Time to hit the road? Far from setting off into the sunset and enjoying a relaxing journey, traveling with a dog can be a fur-raising experience.
Fear peeing, puking and pooping; shaking, barking, whining and whimpering. Yeah, safe to say that hitting route 66 quickly turns into the road trip from hell when accompanied by your nervy canine. So, what can you do about it? Let’s work through our top waggly-tail tips.H