It’s hard to see your dog suffer in any way. You want to do everything you can to provide him a healthy, happy, pain-free life. Taking your dog for regular visits to the vet and keeping all his shots and medication up to date will help prevent many health problems.
But some issues aren’t as easy to spot. Many dogs suffer from anxiety. Though there isn’t a test the vet can run to test for this – there are things you can watch for and steps you can take to help your overly anxious dog.
Signs of Anxiety:
- Shaking or panting
- Hyper vigilante
- Lots of barking or howling
- Messing on the floor even though they’re housebroken and usually don’t have accidents
- Aggressiveness – also a normally calm down can become aggressive is they’re nervous and anxious
- Being destructive
- Trying to escape
How to help your dog deal with anxiety and stress
Make sure he’s getting plenty of exercises.
Put on some calming music; this can help if your dog suffers from separation anxiety. When you leave the house make sure some peaceful music is playing.
If your dog is listening to thunder, it can help to cover the sound of the storm with a noise machine or even the television.
If your dog is scared during storms, you might try a thunder jacket. It doesn’t work for all dogs, but many dog trainers swear by them. It wraps tightly around your dog giving them a feeling of security.
Distract your dog with a fun game. If your dog is jumpy due to fireworks outside, try throwing his favorite toy or ball and see if a game of fetch can get his mind on something besides though loud noises.
DAP – Dog Appeasing Pheromone a synthetic scent similar to what a momma dog is nursing her pup releases. It can effectively calm puppies but not always adult dogs. You can buy a plug-in diffuser that releases the scent.
What Not to Do
Pet owners who love their dogs never want to see them suffering. So when they see them stressed over a storm, the first instinct is to pick them up, cuddle them, and offer words of comfort. Strange as it may seem, that is not always the best approach. By doing so, you’re reinforcing his fear that something is wrong.
Why would his owner be making such a big deal about the situation unless something was genuinely wrong?
Instead, pick up your dog and sit down and watch television or some other regular activity. Let him know that life is going on as usual and there is nothing to fear.
Do not get angry at your dog or punish him. He can’t help his feeling of fear and get upset at him will only make things worse. It will increase his level of stress and harm your relationship with your pet.
Carry on normal activities to show all is well.
If you’re not able to calm your dog, talk to your vet. In severe cases, medications can be given.
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