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How to Calm an Anxious Dog

how to calm an anxious dog

Have you ever sensed that your dog is either stressed out or agitated and that they might be having a panic attack? Many pet parents experience this in an anxious dog and it can be hard to imagine your dog dealing with this on their own. As their caretakers we must try to help our furry friends in these times to make sure they are as comfortable and happy as possible. Keep reading to find out how to calm an anxious dog, I will be going over how to tell if it is anxiety and what to do at that point.

First let's find out what anxiety is and some common causes in dogs.

Dog Anxiety

Dogs share many of the same emotions and feelings as humans and this can be both a good and a bad thing. In the case of anxiety it is rough to deal with, and dogs unlike humans can't communicate what it is that is causing all these problems. This leads to our dogs being fearful or worrisome of something and we may never know what it is.

Most cases of an anxious dog are common and traceable to certain events or occurrences throughout life. Some things that have been linked to anxiety in dogs include thunderstorms, strangers, crowds, fireworks, car rides, a new house, dramatic changes in their life, abuse, new family members, and even a new mirror. Some of these are more severe and harder to deal with but all can lead to anxiety in your furry friend.  

A case of a more severe anxiety is Separation Anxiety and this can be hard to think about as a pet parent knowing everytime you leave your dog is having a panic attack and you are not there to help them through it. These cases will require some extra care but are still treatable with the help of a trainer or a veterinarian.

Sometimes the only way to tell if your dog is suffering from anxiety is by little cues they do during their normal day routines that show their stress levels rising. These signs include scratching at doors, licking of the lips, increased grooming, whining, panting, shaking, pacing, and uncontrolled urination.

How to calm an anxious dog

There are multiple ways to deal with dog anxiety and some dogs may not respond to one but they will to another. There is no guarantee any of these will work for your dog but there are many cases that find these methods successful. I will be going over three methods, one is what to do during an anxiety attack, one's how to help before if you know a trigger is coming, and one is how to help stop them all together. Make sure to contact your veterinarian as well to ensure your dog is getting the proper care for their anxiety.

The first method is simply to touch your dog during an anxiety moment. No I don't mean go poke him or her, but rather go sooth them with calm petting or even cuddling them if they enjoy that. Humans and dogs both release serotonin during a moment like this and this compound released by the body can help calm your dog down.

The next method is to give your dog CBD or Cannabidiol which is a compound derived from the hemp plant and can have many benefits to the health of your furry friend. CBD works through the endocannabinoid system in the body and is very similar to the first method in the fact that it releases serotonin into the body. The difference is that CBD is taken like a supplement and lasts for a while allowing your dog the peace of mind they need even if you are not there to calm them.  

Sold out

The final method is both the most effective but also the hardest on how to calm an anxious dog. It is to train them not to get anxiety through multiple processes. Ultimately it will show them that everything is ok and there is no need to freak out. They might even learn to associate it as a good thing in some situations. This is the best way to help severe cases of anxiety and separation anxiety in dogs and may require the assistance of a professional trainer.

Like I said before there are way more methods to deal with anxiety such as exercise and toys but these are the ones that are effective for most lifestyles. Anxiety can be a hard thing to deal with and it is important to try and help your dog as much as you can. It is always a good idea to get your vet involved to make sure your pet is not suffering from anything else and they can help when it comes to an anxious dog as well. Now you know how to calm an anxious dog and can help your furry friends in their time of need, Make sure to share and comment to help others facing this same problem!

Meet The Author 

Grant Withers

Canine Specialist & Writer

Grant is an award-winning writer for SitStay with a passion for pets and especially dogs! Grant loves writing about furry little goofballs and aims to educate pet parents about anything and everything regarding their dogs.

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