7 Effective Methods to Reduce Anxiety in Dogs

Dog anxiety can be contagious. That is, when your dog is worried all the time, you will be constantly worried about your dog.

So, is there any way to treat anxiety in dogs? If you’ve been wondering about this yourself, you’re in luck.

The truth is, there are lots of effective methods for reducing canine anxiety. There are medications, training classes, even calming doggie coats!

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In other words, dog anxiety is not a permanent condition. Read on and follow these tips to treat this worrisome condition.

  1. Give Your Dog Plenty of Exercises

All dogs need some level of exercise. Certain breeds, like huskies, need a lot more than others.

To prevent anxiety caused by restlessness, find out how much exercise your dog needs based on its breed. If you have a mixed breed/mutt, ask your vet. 

In any case, schedule out enough time in your weekly routine to provide your dog with plenty of exercise. If you already exercise as part of your daily routine, this is even easier. Whenever you step out for a jog, take your dog with you.

  1. Touch/Massage Therapy

Touch is one of the most important types of attention that your dog needs from you. Telling them “good job” and giving them treats is nice, too. But the soothing touch of their human is what really lets them know you love them.

Besides being pet and brushed, dogs love massages. Plus, massages relieve tension and stress in dogs the same as with humans.

  1. Calming Coats/Compression Wraps

Calming coats are like vests that wrap tight around anxious dogs to apply constant yet gentle pressure. This calms dogs the same way that swaddling calms a baby. It’s sort of like a continuous hug, reassuring them that they’re safe.

These are an especially effective treatment during known stressors, like thunderstorms and fireworks. But they are safe for your dog to wear at all times, if necessary.

These products are designed for dogs of every size and there are a lot of brands to choose from. Talk to someone at your local pet supply store for more information and recommendations.

  1. Exposure to Stressors

Sometimes, you can train your dog to become desensitized to certain stressors. This is done through exposure therapy.

Choose a very gentle version of the dog’s stressor and expose him/her to it. Then, calmly leave the stressful situation. Give your dog lots of reassurance during and after the exposure.

In this way, your dog will hopefully learn that the stressor that’s causing them anxiety is really no big deal. This will take a lot of time as you’ll have to repeat this process over and over again until it helps.

Furthermore, it might not entirely cure the dog’s fear of this particular anxiety trigger. But it should certainly help to some degree.

  1. Play Music For Your Dog

As with humans, music can be therapeutic for your dog, too. Specifically, classical music is known to have a calming effect on many dogs.

Besides that, music can be used to drown out other noises that your dog finds stressful. So, if your dog stresses during car trips, turn up the classical music.

And when you listen to music at home, don’t do so through your ear buds. Let your dog listen along with you.

  1. Training Classes

Besides exposure training, being well-trained in general will help free your dog from anxiety. That’s because dogs are natural people-pleasers. They live to make you happy.

So, there’s noting more stressful to a dog than not knowing what you want from them. When you say, “Don’t do that,” or, “Put that down,” they might not know what you mean.

Without training, the only thing they do understand when you say these things is that you’re mad or disappointed in them for some reason. And that makes them feel really bad about themselves.

On the other hand, nothing makes your dog happier than knowing that they did a good job making you happy. The best way to achieve this healthy level of communication with your dog is through training classes. They’ll learn what you’re trying to tell them and you’ll learn how to reassure and reward them.

  1. CBD and Other Medications

There are some medications and over-the-counter consumables that can ease your dog’s anxiety. However, we strongly suggest that you speak with your veterinarian before attempting to treat your dog with any of these. 

Seeking out the vet’s recommendations will be a lot more effective than your own trial and error. Besides, they might offer a prescription that you can’t get at the store..

In any case, there are calming dog treats and scent therapy products you can try. Also, a lot of dog owners have had great success treating their dog’s anxiety with CBD oil.

You want to make sure, though, that you use a product that’s specifically labeled as CBD for dogs. CBD products that are made for humans might contain certain ingredients that aren’t safe for your pooch.

Use These Tips to Treat Anxiety in Dogs

Your dog’s anxiety is not a permanent personality quirk. It’s a treatable condition. So, remember this guide and use these tips to treat anxiety in dogs.

Next, do you want to learn how to control your dog’s odor, keep your dog at a healthy weight, or deworm them at home? If so, check out our Dog Care Tips blog. There, you’ll find all these tips plus other great advice.

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