Don’t worry, there are plenty of things you can do to soothe your dog’s anxiety. The first thing to do is determine their triggers: are they nervous around other dogs? Do they react badly to people wearing certain clothing such as hats or sunglasses? Are they sensitive to noise? There are so many things your dog may be anxious about! Since your dog can’t talk back to you, it’s best to avoid these triggers wherever possible. If you do encounter a trigger, always use a soft and quiet voice and avoid getting angry or shouting.
This is particularly true if your pooch is in the habit or urinating or defecating indoors when they’re scared. Work to positively reinforce good behavior, such as giving them treats when they go outside to do their business. If your dog does have an accident inside, never tell them off or make a fuss – this will only make their anxiety worse.
Your dog relies on you for all their basic needs, so give them as much comfort as they need during their anxious times. You are their rock so love them generously and don’t be afraid to hold them or pet them.
Your dog may also react positively to music. A quick search on YouTube will yield numerous results of “anxiety music for dogs”. These tunes will soothe and help create an atmosphere of safety and security in the home. This is particularly useful if your dog is trigger by sounds, such as construction work or fireworks.
For extended periods of anxiety, your pup may benefit from a weighted blanket. Also known as ‘anxiety blankets’, these items have proven to be useful to soothe anxiety in both humans and dogs. The weight mimics the effect of being swaddled and can be very comforting during periods of intense panic and anxiety. It’s also thought that the pressure helps to lower the physiological effect of arousal and stress, keeping your dog’s body and mind calm.