A pup that suffers from separation anxiety or from loud noises is any dog owner’s biggest nightmare. Not only can your dog’s anxious feelings and behaviors affect your own mental wellbeing, but it can also you consumed with worry and guilt. The vast majority of dog owners will see their dog as a family member and rightly so! Where else are we able to experience such a degree of unconditional love that seems to never stop giving? And, just as we would be concerned for a close family member who was going through bouts of anxiety or fear, we become equally preoccupied for our four-legged friends.
Aside from the emotional turmoil that we go through with our pups when they are experiencing anxiety, as responsible dog parents we also need to be aware of the dangerous realities that can occur if our dog manages to escape, or injure himself while engaging in destructive anxiety-related behavior. Compulsive behaviors like chewing and scratching can easily escalate to the point where your dog’s health is in jeopardy, which is why it is important to take all the preventative measures possible when it comes to dealing with anxiety in our furry friends.
Here are some of the best calming aids we have encountered that will help soothe your pup in his times of need.
CBD-infused Dog Treats
CBD oil as anxiety medication is becoming absolutely massive in the medicinal world due to its incredibly potent and therapeutic properties. Many individuals who are suffering from serious illnesses including anxiety, insomnia, and pain are turning to CBD oil to help them alleviate their symptoms in a natural way. And, as we open our eyes to the reality of just how much CBD has already helped humans recover from debilitating illnesses, more pet owners are choosing this powerful medicine to soothe their companion’s ailments. A good quality CBD oil or cannabis-infused doggie treats are a great way to naturally induce a calmer sense of wellbeing in your dog and there is already a well-documented success rate with regards to using CBD as dog anxiety medication to reduce separation anxiety in dogs.
Treat Holder Dog Toys
A dog’s anxiety can be brought on by boredom, especially when he is home alone. Not having any human activity in the house can cause your pup to become lonely, bored, and destructive, which is why it is important to provide him with some sort of entertainment in your absence. Many reputable and entirely safe dog toy brands have already released products that are designed for mental stimulation and they can work wonders for keeping your dog occupied when you are at work. A better-known product is KONG, which you can stuff full of your pooch’s favorite treats before you leave the house and he will spend his time trying to figure out how to remove them. This mentally stimulating game will help to distract your dog from feeling bored and lonely and is highly recommended to soothe anxiety.
Listening to classical FM all day is a surefire way to reduce stress levels in both humans and dogs. The instrumental music accompanied by soft vocals playing quietly in the background while your pup is at home alone can be a wonderful calming aid for dogs that suffer from separation anxiety and you can even find playlists online that are created specifically to be used as calming aids. To go with the music, you can use essential oils such as chamomile, ginger root, and other natural ingredients to help relax your pup and relieve stress and anxiety.
An Old Shoe
Kick the dog anxiety into touch with an old shoe. Not the most glamorous of soothing aids, I know, but have you ever found yourself hopping around on one foot, in a desperate attempt to leave the house on time, while searching for your missing shoe only to find it in your dog’s bed? Welcome to the club—it seems to be a staple feature of dog parenthood. Our dogs crave our scent and our comfort when we are not around, so its no surprise that they turn to a well-worn shoe can act as a kind of dog anxiety medication when they are feeling lonely. And while no one wants to encourage a pet to play with their shoes, or worse, chew them up, a retired pair of sneakers can be the perfect security blanket for your pup
A Seek and Find Treasure Hunt
Playtime doesn’t only have to be for when the humans are home—several pooch parents have found that hiding treats around the house for the dog to sniff out can be an excellent solution for sneaking out the house without your pup noticing. To make this game ultra effective, try placing CBD-infused dog calming treats in nooks and crannies around the house to calm your pup’s nerves when you aren’t around. Your furry friend will spend hours trying to find these yummy treats for dogs.
A Raw Bone
There have been several shocking reports of incidents involving rawhide bones, but a raw, sturdy animal bone from your local butcher can provide your dog with hours of entertainment. The rigorous gnawing and chewing on a juicy cow bone will also work to tire your dog out after just a couple of hours. The only downside is that it will likely be dragged all over your furniture, so this could be a better solution for dogs when they are in their crates or out in the garden.
Anxiety in dogs is something that should not be ignored and it can be easily managed when discovered in its early stages. You should always be vigilant for changes in behavior, especially when your dog is left alone, as this can be a reliable indication that something is not quite right. It is also worth remembering that there are medications, calming treats, and natural supplements that can help to calm your dog and your vet will be able to give you more information on the different options available. If you prefer to experiment with natural tools for combatting your dog’s anxiety initially, then the points above will give you a comprehensive guide of where to start when you start putting the anxiety prevention plan in place.
Jennifer is the voice behind the FOMO Bones blog. She's pretty sure in her past life, she was a Great Dane. However, we peg her as more of a labrador. Regardless of her breed, she's a dog enthusiast who has 15 years experience training dogs and owners.