Anxiety in dogs is one of the most common situations that a dog owner will have to help manage, as it can become debilitating enough to prevent your pooch from enjoying all sorts of activities that he would normally adore. Going for a walk to the local park to play with his doggie pals is no longer enticing to your pup when he is suffering from bad anxiety, which is why it is especially important to find the right tools to help him relax and go back to having fun again!
Fortunately, there are several easy remedies that you can use to soothe your dog’s anxiety and the great thing is, they are entirely natural! So, there is no need to worry about dosing your precious pup up with potentially harmful pharmaceuticals that may cause some negative side effects.
Before we delve into exploring some methods that could be the solution to calming the anxiety that your pet is experiencing, let’s first look at the different types of anxiety, so you can get a clearer understanding of where it comes from.
Behavioral vs. Situational Dog Anxiety
The two main types of anxiety in dogs are behavioral and situational. Behavioral anxiety is more of a permanent thing, whereby your dog is continuously anxious that can be triggered by a variety of different stimuli. The most commonly experienced type of behavioral anxiety is separation anxiety that currently affects around 14% of dogs worldwide and means that owners struggle to leave their dogs alone for any period of time, as their pup just can’t deal with being away from them.
The second type of anxiety in dogs is known as situational, which is where there is a specific trigger for their nervous episodes like thunderstorms or fireworks. Some dogs even have panic attacks when they know it is time for a bath or a visit to the doggy doctor!
Regardless of the type of anxiety that your four-legged friend is experiencing, it is essential that you nip it in the bud as soon as possible and help them to overcome their worries and fears; otherwise, they could become destructive and, in some cases, demonstrate aggression!
The Problem with Traditional Treatments
Even though more people are turning to natural remedies for their ailments, a conventional vet will still more than likely prescribe pharmaceutical anti-anxiety medication for your pup. These are usually benzodiazepines, which could cause negative side effects; so many pet owners prefer not to use this method unless they are completely out of options.
Thankfully, you don’t just have to rely on potentially toxic pharmaceuticals to cure your pup’s anxiety, as here are six excellent natural remedies that have worked to soothe dogs all around the world.
CBD Oil or Dog Treats
People are going crazy for CBD oil as medication, as it has already proven its worth as a powerful healing remedy. Dog owners are also now turning to CBD-infused dog treats and oil due to its countless benefits. It can help with pain, arthritis and most importantly, anxiety. It could put an end to an anxious dog, and bring out that pup love once more.
How Does CBD Work?
When it comes to healing the body, CBD does this via the natural endocannabinoid system. Your dog’s central nervous system is full of cannabinoid receptors, which are triggered to release increased levels of Serotonin—a natural mood stabilizer. Existing research has shown that CBD will interact with the CNS to soothe your pup’s anxiety. Many pet parents love to give their dogs CBD-infused dog treats, as they are much tastier than the oil and most dogs will wolf them down happily. They are also fast acting, meaning you won’t have to wait for weeks or months to see positive results.
Herbal remedies like Bach’s rescue remedy can offer speedy relief for bouts of nervous behavior and they are entirely safe to use. Some medicinal herbs are very specific with regards to what they can combat, so before purchasing any homeopathic remedies, try to pinpoint the source of your pup’s anxiety and find one that will treat the issue specifically.
Before we embark on the subject of essential oils, it is important to realize that not all essential oils are safe to use with dogs. Our pooches can be very sensitive when it comes to certain smells, so it is important to stick to using only the safe essential oils like Lavender and Violet Leaf. Lavender is fantastic for both humans and animals when it comes to inducing a sense of calm and relaxation.
Certain herbs like chamomile can have wonderful therapeutic and relaxing effects on your dog. Chamomile is a powerful sedative and it also works to soothe your dog’s stomach at the same time! You can usually find pure herbal tinctures at your local health store, so simply add a couple of drops into your dog’s water bowl and increase the dose until you start seeing results.
Background noise like the television or radio can be an excellent option to calm your dog if he suffers from separation anxiety. If your dog’s biggest fear is to be left on his own, then hearing voices or music will help him to feel less alone.
A tired pup is a happy pup and any dog behaviorist will tell you that exercise is essential to rid any nervous energy that your pet might be storing. If you know you will be going out for a longer period of time than normal, be sure to take your dog on a long walk or jog so that he will be too tired to notice you are gone!
Natural remedies are a great option to try, as they can provide nothing but benefits for the body. A little bit of trial and error will be required in order to find the winning combination that works for your pup’s anxiety, but it will be worth it in the end! If in doubt, there are plenty of reliable information sources online that can provide you with further information, as well as your local veterinary clinic.
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.
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