Just like humans, dogs also experience anxiety. It is a normal emotion shown in dogs of any breed. However, because it is a normal emotion does not mean you should leave it unchecked.
Leaving this emotion in for a longer time in your dogs without treating it will lead to behavioral and other issues.
So, how can you help your dog treat his anxiety? The answer to this query has been revealed in this article.
By reading this article completely, you will get to know what anxiety in dogs means, you will also learn about the natural remedies available that can help ease your dog’s anxiety and improve their overall well-being.
By incorporating these remedies into your dog’s daily routine, you can help them feel more relaxed and comfortable in their surroundings.
Without further ado, let’s dive in
Anxiety in Dogs
Anxiety in dogs can be described as a state of fear, or uneasiness that is often accompanied by various physical and behavioral symptoms.
What are these symptoms I am talking about? Well, they are what you are familiar with although you may not term them as symptoms of anxiety.
Have you ever seen your dog barking excessively, howling, trembling, or shaking, showing destructive behavior like chewing your furniture and clothes, urinating or defecating in inappropriate places, and decreased appetite or showing no interest in play?
If you’ve noticed any of these symptoms listed above, it may be that your dog is suffering from anxiety.
Top 7 Natural Remedies for Pet Anxiety
It is very important to detect the underlying cause of anxiety in your dog before applying these remedies.
Is your dog suffering from separation anxiety? Or he is just anxious because of loud noises, sounds, or changes in his environment?
These are some of the questions you should ask yourself before applying any of these natural remedies that will be listed below.
Here are the Top 7 Natural Remedies for Pet Anxiety:
We cannot over-emphasize the benefits of exercise to man and our pets.
Regular exercise is not only important for your pet’s physical health but also for their mental well-being.
Exercise helps release endorphins, which are natural mood-boosting hormones that can help reduce anxiety and stress.
Exercise also helps to stimulate the secretion of serotonin; this chemical is a natural mood stabilizer and it can help your dog eradicate anxiety.
Dogs are also highly energetic and they need an outlet for this excess energy. Exercise helps your dog make use of his energy and therefore serves as an outlet that can help them feel more relaxed and tired. Remember “A Tired Dog is a Happy Dog”
If you notice that your dog is suffering from anxiety and you are willing to incorporate exercise into his daily routine just to help him get rid of this anxiety.
Here are some tips you should keep in mind:
- Start with short exercise sessions and gradually increase the duration and intensity over time.
- Stick to a consistent exercise routine to help your pet feel more comfortable and less anxious.
- Incorporate fun activities like playing fetch, going for a walk, or running in the park.
- Be observant. Know when you should stop or make adjustments to their exercise routine.
- Consult with your veterinarian before starting a new exercise program.
2. Aromatherapy (Making use of Essential Oils)
Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to promote relaxation and reduce anxiety in pets.
Essential oils are concentrated plant extracts that can be used in various ways, such as diffusing, applying topically, or using in a spray bottle.
When using essential oils for your pet, it is important to choose oils that are safe and appropriate for them.
You should also know that essential oils are toxic and should not be ingested by dogs.
With that being said, always be careful when applying essential oils on your dog’s coat, to reduce the toxicity, you may dilute it with carrier oils such as olive or coconut oil.
Some essential oils that are safe for pets include lavender, chamomile, and bergamot.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when using aromatherapy for pet anxiety:
- Always dilute essential oils with carrier oil before applying them topically or using them in a spray bottle.
- Use essential oils sparingly and avoid overuse, as some oils can be toxic to pets in large amounts.
- Monitor your pet’s behavior when using essential oils and discontinue use if you notice any adverse reactions.
- Avoid using essential oils on pregnant or nursing pets.
Another natural useful tool that may help reduce anxiety in dogs is Music. Don’t forget this old proverb “Music has charms to soothe the savage beast”. This proverb is true and many of us can relate.
Music offers calming and soothing qualities to anxious dogs. Calming music has been found to slow down dogs’ heart rates, lower their blood pressure, and decrease their cortisol levels (stress hormone) which are physiological indicators of stress and anxiety.
Try leaving your radio or television on when your dog is inside, you will see how focused and calm your dog will be.
This calmness is a result of the soothing sound (music) coming from your television.
playing music can also help block out external noises that may trigger your dog’s anxiety, such as loud noises from construction or thunderstorms.
However, not all music is recommended for dogs. According to research, music with a slower tempo and fewer lyrics has been said to be the best for easing dog anxiety.
You can check out this recommended dog playlist for anxious dogs.
4. Healthy Diet
Another thing that helps in managing pet anxiety is a healthy diet. Some foods contain nutrients capable of reducing stress and promoting relaxation.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when feeding your pet to help reduce their anxiety:
- Feed your pet a high-quality, well-balanced diet that is appropriate for their age, breed, and activity level.
- Consider adding foods that contain tryptophan, such as turkey, to your pet’s diet. Tryptophan is an amino acid that can help increase the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood.
- Avoid feeding your pet foods that are high in sugar or caffeine, as these can increase anxiety levels.
5. Massage and Acupressure
These are natural techniques that can help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation in pets.
Massage involves using gentle pressure and strokes to help release tension and improve circulation, while acupressure involves applying pressure to specific points on the body to stimulate healing and reduce anxiety.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when using massage and acupressure to help reduce your pet’s anxiety:
- Start with gentle, slow movements to help your pet feel more comfortable and relaxed.
- Focus on areas where your pet holds tension, such as the neck, shoulders, and back.
- Use light pressure and avoid applying too much pressure, as this can be uncomfortable for your pet.
According to a reputable veterinarian, pet owners can utilize supplements such as melatonin to alleviate their dogs’ stress.
This hormone naturally increases in the bloodstream during sleep and may help pets remain calm.
Veterinarians often suggest L-theanine and L-tryptophan supplements for mild to moderate anxiety in pets.
Zylkene, a derivative of milk protein, can also assist in calming senior dogs with age-related anxiety. It is safe to use daily or for multiple days when your dog requires calming support, such as when visitors come over.
CBD oil and chews are a recent supplement for dogs, but their strength or potency is not regulated, making them challenging to use effectively.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when using supplements to help reduce your pet’s anxiety:
- Consult with your veterinarian and make inquiries about the best supplement that will help ease your dog’s anxiety.
- Follow the recommended dosage instructions for the supplement, as giving too much can cause harm to your pet.
- be patient and consistent with the dosage because some supplements may take several weeks to have an effect.
- Be observant and ensure to report any negative behavioral changes in your dog to your vet. If your pet’s anxiety worsens, the supplement may not be working effectively or may need a different dosage.
7. Calming Products
There are various calming products available on the market that can help reduce anxiety in pets. These products include pheromone diffusers, calming collars, and herbal supplements.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when using calming products to help reduce your pet’s anxiety:
- Choose products that are specifically designed for pets and that have been tested for safety and effectiveness.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when using these products.
- Monitor your pet’s behavior when using calming products and discontinue use if you notice any adverse reactions.
- Consult with your veterinarian before using any new products, especially if your pet is on medication or has an underlying health condition.
Pet anxiety is a common issue that can be managed with natural remedies.
By incorporating exercise, music aromatherapy, healthy diet, massage and acupressure, supplements, and calming products into your pet’s daily routine, you can help reduce their anxiety and improve their overall well-being.
Using conventional medications in treating dogs’ anxiety is something you should avoid. Some medications such as Valium and Xanax reduce dogs’ heart rate and blood pressure and may also lower your dog’s activeness.
Using them in excess will disrupt your dog’s nervous system. This is why you have to opt for natural methods of treating dogs’ anxiety.
Before you go, you can also read: Sustainable Dog Grooming Tips for Healthier Pets