Dog Anxiety Awareness Week starts May 2nd. This is a topic that could definitely use some exposure! Our canine friends are very emotional, and they can also be afflicted by things like stress and anxiety. While the exact steps you’d need to take to help Fido would depend on the type and severity of his anxiety, there are a few things that will help most pups. A Westminster, MD vet lists some key ones below.
Toys are great for helping Fido cope, as they give him a healthy outlet for his angst. Let Fido take his frustration out on a plush dinosaur! Puzzle toys also make great distractions.
Toys are great, but interactive play is even better. When you toss a stick or ball for Fido, you can really get him moving. Walks will also help tire him out, which will naturally leave him calmer.
Nowadays, you can get many different products that were made to help soothe anxious pets. These include things like sprays, treats, and snug-fitting shirts. Ask your vet for more information.
This one will work best for pups that are frightened of specific things, such as loud noises. Thunderstorms are a good example. One thing you can do is play a recording of storm sounds. Keep the volume low at first, and then gradually keep raising it until your four-legged friend stops reacting to it.
Training may not address the source of Fido’s anxiety, but it can help with bad behavior that results from it. For instance, you can teach your pooch to go Lay Down when he is pacing, whining, or howling.
Crates can be great tools. Many dogs see their crates not as ‘jail cells’ but as comfy, cozy little dens, where they feel safe and secure. However, it’s important to use the crate properly. Never put Fido in the crate to punish him, and don’t leave him in there too long. Ask your vet for specific advice on this.
In some cases, you may need to go a bit further. If Fido’s anxiety is severe, and/or he is exhibiting aggressive or dangerous behavior, you may want to seek professional help. Ask your vet for more information.
Please reach out if ever we can be of assistance. As your local Westminster, MD veterinary clinic, we’re here to help!