I had 2 Consultations today which both presented with generalized Anxiety and Fear. Their behavior plans are extensive but here is a bit of information in case you or someone you know has a pup that is fearful or anxious.
Some of the most common causes have to do with:
1. Breed - Certain dog breeds are prone to anxiety. If you have a breed that tends to be anxious, suffer from separation anxiety or becomes fearful you may be looking at a time commitment to training and learning tactics to help lesson fear or separation issues.
2. Pet history – Many adopted pets lack the knowledge of their history and missing out on their most formative years can create a lifelong management issue. If your pet has a history of abuse, abandonment, or life as a stray it can lead to anxiety that does not automatically go away when he or she enters a loving, stable home.
3. Age and health – Some dogs are fine until “that thing happened” or factors such as health issues or old age. Understanding, compassion, and schedule changes may be required to help your pet cope.
What are ways to ease pet anxiety?
All too often I see the effects of fear and anxiety in dogs. Anxiety is not punishable, but it is treatable with time, patience, love and guidance. Be your pet’s best advocate when it comes to anxiety and fear and try these methods:
1. Exercise – Physical and Mental Exercise can be the key to help your pet deal with anxiety. Routine exercise creates a time for bonding with your pet. Playing ball or taking long walks can burn off excess energy that can manifest into anxiety.
2. Physical Contact – Offering regular pet and cuddle time can help. Be sure to create the time for regular contact or cuddling if that is something your dog enjoys. A good pet, massage or brushing can really provide the nurturance youd dog needs.
3. Massage – Anxiety causes tensing of the muscles, making massage a perfect way to reduce tension. Keep one hand on the pet for comfort while using the other to massage long strokes along the pet’s body.
4. Music Therapy – Both dogs and cats have been shown to respond positively to music therapy as a calming and relaxing effect. Classical music has been extremely impactful for dogs in stressful states. I have YouTube prime and leave live streaming dog music on when ever I leave the house. It drowns out what is going on outside and provides an extremely soothing environment.
5. Chill – When anxiety leads to bad behavior give yourself and your pup a time-out session. Crates with covered sides or making a den out of your favorite closet can allow pets to feel safe and secure and provide a place for them to calm their nerves. Reduced light, lowered motion, and less background activity reduces stress.
6. Calming Clothing – Calming clothing items such as coats and t-shirts can offer comfort for your anxious pet. These heavy clothing items offer mild, constant pressure to a pet’s body like the swaddling of a newborn baby.
7. Alternative Therapies – We have tried and true natural supplements and products to help pets suffering from anxiety. Veterinarian approved options start with Calming Paste but you may explore things like melatonin, thiamin, chamomile, L-Theanine or L-tryptophan to help your pet deal with his or her stress and anxiety.
These are some of the suggestions I give combined with training protocols to create permanent behavior change. To learn more or ask questions call 860-304-1447 or find us at BNADOG.com.