Top 6 Tips For Anxious Dogs
It’s been scientifically shown that dogs suffer from anxiety! The 3 main triggers are from: noise sensitivity, general fearfulness, and separation anxiety.
In fact, it’s really common! 33% of dog’s struggle with noise sensitivity, 25% with general anxiety, stress and fear and 20% have separation anxiety.
So, if dog anxiety isn’t just real, it’s a real problem, how can you tell if your dog is suffering and how can you help?
How Can I Tell If My Dog Has Anxiety?
Common signs of anxiety in dogs include:
- hypervigilance / being alert all the time / hyperactivity
- restlessness / unable to settle
- aggression, such as lunging, barking, or snarling at other people or dogs
- excessive barking
- excessive panting and/or drooling
Dogs presenting one or more of these signs could be a result of anxiety. In the short term, these things are not a huge issue. However, if the issues persist you should take measures to help support them and reduce the anxiety.
How to help your dog.
There are lots of helpful tips you can implement to help your dog’s anxiety:
- Identify the trigger and try to minimize it – Common triggers are new people, animals, noises and dogs. If you notice a pattern of anxiety in certain situations take precautions to minimize exposure or work slowly to introduce the exposure carefully if necessary.
- Give your dog a rest from walkies! WAIT but a well exercised dog will NEVER get stressed – Yes exercise is important to help with general mood. However, anxious dogs can often struggle to cope with the big, wide world, which means that they may not actually enjoy the walks you're going on. This can make them more stressed, and they may then struggle to cope with other things that are going on. It's okay to keep your dog at home, and play games or do some training sessions with them instead.
- Sniffing enrichment! Sniffing is hugely beneficial for dogs and essential for their wellbeing. It's stimulating too - experts tell us just 20 minutes of sniffing is equivalent to an hour's walk in terms of enrichment for your dog.
- Lick mats are a type of enrichment toy for dogs and cats, like puzzle toys. They can keep your dog mentally stimulated and help relieve anxiety.
- Use a calming product. We recommend picking a natural calming treat (not tablet or spray),to use as a tasty treat containing proven ingredients to help calm your pup such as: L-theanine, Passionflower & Chamomile. Avoid using ingredients such as melatonin which can cause drowsiness.
- Give them a safe space to retreat to. Having this special spot for your dog to retreat provides an additional level of protection for your pet within the home, especially if you teach them to go there at your command. It can be a safe they retreat to when they are stress, scared or just want to chill.