6 Ways to Effectively Reduce Dog Anxiety

6 Ways to Effectively Reduce Dog Anxiety - Animals Matter, Inc.

We often think of dogs as happy-go-lucky and carefree creatures. But the unfortunate truth is: many dogs live with chronic anxiety. The result of this isn't just an unhappy dog; it can be hard on everyone. The main way dogs express anxiety is through negative behavior. In fact, research shows that as many as 70 percent of dogs exhibit anxious behaviors. 

Some of the problems that are linked to anxiety in dogs are notoriously difficult to deal with. They include excessive barking, inappropriate elimination, aggressiveness, destructiveness, and hyperactivity.

The fallout from this problem can be severe. When dogs are able to behave well, their owners report an increased sense of attachment. On the other hand, dogs that struggle with persistent behavior problems are more likely to be relinquished to a shelter.

We know that your dog is safe with you. But no one wants their pet to suffer. Anxiety disorders in dogs are very similar to what humans with the same disorders experience. These problems can even lead to other difficult-to-treat issues, such as dog OCD.

Fortunately, there are ways you can help your pup feel better. Anxious dogs are asking for a special kind of care, and a loving owner can give them what they need (that’s you!)

Ways to Help Dogs With Anxiety

Some of the things you can do for an anxious dog probably seem obvious, such as giving them love and affection. But not every technique is quite so straightforward. In fact, even extra cuddles should take into account dogs' needs and what is the best way to meet them. Here are some guidelines to support a dog with anxiety. 

Regular Exercise

Getting regular exercise not only helps burn off nervous energy, it even supports brain health. Anxiety can impact the hippocampus, which is the area of the brain that's associated with memory and learning. But exercise combats those changes, helping the brain to function better — even under chronic stress.

Research has also demonstrated that when animals exercise, they experience a significant reduction in depression and anxiety. But that’s not all! Regular walks, runs, or games of fetch with your pup strengthen your bond — making them feel even more secure.

Getting plenty of active play also helps your dog to sleep well, which is another way to help them feel calm and happy.

Blankets, Beds, and Other Comforts

Creating a cozy, comfortable environment is key. Dogs that have somewhere that feels safe can go there to escape frightening events, such as thunderstorms. They are also more likely to get plenty of quality sleep, which helps combat anxiety.

Donut beds are a good option for anxious dogs, especially those that have separation anxiety. These beds offer a physical sensation of being surrounded and cozy, which can be very soothing for an anxious dog. Some dogs feel most secure in their crates. For these dogs, a crate cover can boost their feeling of being tucked in a protective den. 

Wherever your dog sleeps, try to provide them with a soft blanket or Pet Rug. Think about how comforting it feels to sink into your bed at the end of a difficult day, and you'll understand how much your dog needs a cozy place to lay down.

Calming Clothing

Clothes for dogs aren't just adorable. A snug-fitting shirt or hoodie can be very calming. The gentle pressure of the fabric around their body is soothing for many dogs. 

Love, Cuddles, and Praise

Dogs have an intense need to please their owners and feel close to them. Regular attention and affection go a long way towards assuring them that they are loved and safe. 

An important thing to remember is that a lot of this attention should happen during calm times. If a dog is only lavished with love during their most anxious moments, it can reinforce their worst behaviors. Make sure you're paying lots of attention to your dog when they're happy and calm. Of course, if your dog is upset and wants to sit on or next to you, it's a good idea to pet them and comfort them. Just remember how important positive attention is when they're feeling better.

Dogs love to have a job, so consider spending time teaching yours a few simple tricks. Simply feeling like they've done something for you that made you happy can be very comforting. If you can interrupt anxious behavior by having them perform their tricks, it's a great way to substitute destructive actions with something you give them lots of praise for doing. 

CBD Oil and Supplements

Many pet owners report that CBD oil or treats help ease their dog's anxiety. The research on CBD use for dogs is promising, but it's still in its early days. It's generally considered safe, so the best way to see if it works for your dog is to start with a low dose and slowly work your way up. For some dogs, CBD can lead to significant improvement. 

Speak to Your Veterinarian

If your dog's anxiety doesn't respond to your best efforts, or they appear to be overwhelmed by it, check in with their vet. They will want to rule out any medical problems that may be upsetting your dog. If they are struggling with an anxiety disorder, medication is available. When it's used along with other techniques, it can be very helpful. 

You Want the Best for Your Dog

Dog owners are often willing to put in a lot of effort to give their dogs a happy, healthy life. Anxiety disorders can seem too difficult to handle, but with patience, you can make a huge difference in an anxious dog's life. At Animals Matter, we love dogs too, and we offer luxury and high quality supplies to help you give your dog the best life possible. 

For more information about our products, please contact us.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Pet Education

Cute Puppy Picture, enjoying a day at the spa and a link to Animals Matter.
Bolster Dog Beds: The Ultimate Comfort Solution For Your Furry Friend

11 min read

If you're looking for a comfortable, cozy solution with just the right features to ensure your furry friend gets the rest they need, wrap them up in snuggly warmth with Bolster Dog Beds! These beds make use of dense foam that soothes joints and supports weight evenly.
A cute chihuahua resting in bed
The Ultimate Guide to Dog Cuddle Beds: Benefits, Materials, and More

8 min read

Dog cuddle beds provide your beloved pet with a place all their own, full of softness, comfort, and luxury. From mattress-style cuddle beds that offer ease of care and orthopedic foam-based support to bolster bed styles for those pup parents who desire extra protection for their pup’s necks and head, the ultimate guide to choosing the perfect dog cuddle bed provides valuable information on materials and design considerations. Our guide goes through various options: size, shape, color selection, and fabric choice. So let's start exploring the best options out there, so you can rest easy knowing your furry friend is getting the best quality sleep.
Organic Dog Shampoo: Everything You Need To Know
Organic Dog Shampoo: Everything You Need To Know

8 min read

When it comes to your beloved pup, only the best will do. That's why more and more pet owners are turning to organic dog shampoos for their furry friends. Not only are these shampoos free of harsh chemicals, but they are also packed with essential oils, coconut-based cleansers and omega-rich oils that offer luxurious moisturizing properties. Plus, the lack of chemical irritants makes them great for preventing dry and itchy skin in your pup! If you're looking for an all-around win both for you and your four-legged friend, then organic dog shampoos are definitely worth considering.