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Life would be a lot easier if we knew exactly what was going on in our dogs’ heads, but that’s not the case. We can kind of tell how they’re feeling based on their body language – a wagging tail means they’re happy, panting means they’re hot, but what about when they’re anxious? Keep reading and learn how to calm an anxious dog.
There are a lot of different actions that signal that your dog is feeling anxious including pacing, trembling, lip licking, excess drooling increased heart rate, over-grooming plus a few other symptoms.
For those of you who think your neighbors are about to file a noise complaint about your dog’s constant barking:
What Causes Dog Anxiety and How to Prevent it
Pets are like part of the family, and many pet owners would do anything to make sure their pet is always feeling their happiest. If your dog is suffering from anxiety you want to make sure you can help them in any way possible, but first you need to figure out what’s stressing them out. Your dog’s stressor could be something obvious, or it could be something you wouldn’t notice unless you did some research or took them to the vet.
Some common triggers for dog anxiety include being left alone, loud noises, other dogs and recently being rescued from a shelter. Luckily for your pet and you, there are a lot of different ways you can help to alleviate your dog’s anxiety.
Keep Your Anxious Dog Busy
Some dogs suffer from separation anxiety when you leave for the day to head to work. This anxiety can come on from your dog being lonely or it could bring them back memories from being alone in the shelter if you’ve recently rescued them.
There are a few things you can do for your dog when you leave them alone. Try leaving the TV on or playing some music while your away so they don’t feel too lonely.
If you want to keep them busy and distracted while you’re gone, fill a rubber dog toy with either treats or peanut butter. Also, try playing with them or taking them on a walk before you head out, this will tire your dog out so they’ll want to relax and sleep while you’re gone.
Improve Your Dog’s Mood
Dogs tend to respond to how their owners act, so if you’re in a good mood then they’re in a good mood. If you did rescue your dog from a bad situation, they might be more sensitive to you being in a bad mood and become more anxious than normal. Combat this by giving them treats, keeping them company and snuggling with them.
Another method to improve your dog’s mood in general is to make sure you keep them on a routine. Some dogs need a stable environment or else they start to feel uneasy when their days become unpredictable.
See if Your Dog has Underlying Health Issues
Some dog’s anxiety can be caused by an underlying health issue. Illnesses that can cause your dog to show symptoms of anxiety include hypothyroidism, thyrotoxicosis, pre-diabetes, and hearing or vision loss.
My dog has lost her hearing with old age, so sometimes I accidentally scare her when I go to pet her and she isn’t expecting it. I’ve learned to make sure she sees me before I pet her because I don’t want to stress her out.
Be sure to pay a visit to the vet to see if something else is causing your dog’s anxiety.
Soundproofing to Soothe Your Dog
It’s possible that overstimulation could be stressing your dog out. Overstimulation can occur after playing, from being around other dogs, being around a lot of people, or being in a loud environment. In this case your dog will need a timeout, and not a negative timeout. They just need some time away from any stimulation.
Soundproof curtains from Residential Acoustics are the perfect way to provide your dog with a quiet and dim environment. These curtains work by sealing around the perimeter of a window or door in order to block out 60% to 90% of outside noise and even more light.
If you notice that your dog is over stimulated and exhibiting sign of anxiety, lead them to your room with the sound proof curtains, close them and let your dog relax. The retractable version of this curtain can easily be slid to the side when it’s not in use, after your dog has calmed down. You can even try adding white noise to the room to reduce stimulating noises even more.
Recap – How to Calm an Anxious Dog
Thankfully the multiple causes of dog anxiety come with multiple solutions. Overall, be understanding of how your dog is feeling and even if they’re not feeling anxious just give them some love. We hope this was helpful to all the dog moms and dads out there with anxious fur babies!