All living creatures have emotions. They might not express it like a human would, and hence it is difficult to observe it.
Similarly, just like humans, dogs have a tendency to suffer from mental disorders such as anxiety. The difficult part is, it isn’t as easy to detect. In fact, a majority of non-dog owners might not even be aware that dogs can suffer in this manner too.
Most consider dogs to be the most cheerful pets out there. We think of them as stress busters, oblivious to the fact that they might need some stress-busting for themselves too.
Even though an issue like anxiety deserves a much more in-depth conversation, today we’ll be going through some of the easiest ways in which you can help in alleviating your dog’s anxiety.
Anxiety Causing Factors
Here are a few factors which may give rise to anxiety in dogs:
- Dogs become attached to their owners very easily and quickly. If they fear separation from them, they may start showing strong signs of anxiety.
- What might be visually normal to you might not be the same for your dogs. Closed spaces, loud voices, attention that is unexpected or negative, or interaction with other humans and animals, are a few factors which may give birth to anxiety.
- Ageing of dogs may also lead to them developing anxiety. They become less active, their learning capacity reduces and they begin to feel lonely and fearful.
Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety in Dogs
Look out for the following signs or symptoms in your dogs to identify anxiety in them:
- Your dog starts to bark in an uncontrolled manner.
- Defecation and urination across the house.
- Physical movement causes restlessness and pacing of the heart.
- Excessive drooling.
- Starts destroying things around.
- Prolonged period of laziness.
- Aggressive behavior.
7 Ways to Alleviate Dog Anxiety
Here are a few ways you can attempt to alleviate your dog’s anxiety:
1. The first and foremost way is to consult your dog’s veterinarian. Anxiety is a clinical disorder. Medical supervision is the best thing you can try in order to alleviate your dog’s anxiety.
Consultation with your veterinarian will help you in identifying the cause of the anxiety. It will also help you to determine the kind of anxiety your dog is experiencing and the ways in which you can help your dog alleviate it.
2. Anxiety caused due to old-age of the dog is very common. The essential step to be taken at this point is to give extra attention to your dog. It is probably the last few years for your dog. It might be going through compulsive disorders.
Giving love and warmth to the dog at this period is very important. Try to talk to and be with the dog as much as possible.
3. You can give a massage to your dog when you feel a sign of aggression. Gently pat the dog, and have it lie down. Head towards massaging the dog with very light fingers. You can use the tip of your fingers and massage it in a circular motion. This will bring a sense of calm and comfort to the dog. They feel safe, relaxed and loved.
4. Make sure you let your dog do a little bit of exercise, every once in a while. Just like humans, serotonin, a chemical is produced in the dog’s body when it exercises. This makes the dog naturally feel very calm and composed. The secretion of this chemical makes its mind feel jolly and good.
5. If there is a particular object that frightens your dog or triggers an anxiety attack, such as loud music, thunderstorms, bursting of crackers, closed spaces, etc., make sure you distract them immediately from it. Try to make them think of other things. Distract them with dog toys, dog bones or anything which your dog chews on.
6. Put on a light music which is specifically curated to calm a dog. These songs have frequencies which when heard by dogs, can calm them down and can be extremely soothing to their ears and mind.
7. Make sure that the house they live in or the area they are surrounded by is friendly to them. Occasionally, give them some exciting treats they can chew on. Make sure their bedding is comfortable and that they are surrounded by lots of warmth and affection.
At the end of the day, each dog has its own way of coping. However, when it gets difficult to identify the problem and find a solution, these are some ways which are found to be effective across most breeds of dogs. If your dog is facing anxiety problems, make sure you help them in the above-mentioned ways, with a pinch of love, care, and kindness.