My Dog Is Anxious: Effective Methods to Calm Your Dog
Dogs can become stressed, anxious, frightened or over excited for many different reasons, whether it’s loud fireworks on Bonfire Night, strangers, door bells, separation anxiety or changes in routine. As a dog owner, it becomes very useful to know the ways to calm a dog so you can support and help your beloved companion when they are struggling, no matter the reason.
Common Signs of an Anxious or Stressed Dog
Lose Control of Bladder
Freezing in Place
Showing their Gums
Watch out for these signs and if you notice your dog experiencing any of these symptoms, they may be stressed or anxious. Just like us hoomans, dogs need a way to calm down and sometimes they just need a little extra help.
Quiet, Stress-free Environment
The most important thing to do when you have an anxious pet is to remove any triggers that cause the stress in the first place.
Loud, excitable situations can make dogs anxious and over excited, so creating a calm and quiet environment will help to soothe those nerves.
Sometimes all your pup needs is a good old pet from their owner. Petting your dog is a super easy and effective way to calm a dog. Not only does it let your anxious pet know that you are there for them but petting decreases their heart rate and lowers blood pressure.
Perform slow, gentle movements from the head to bottom of the back and avoid the tail, legs, paws and muzzle because this can cause more stress if your dog doesn’t like being touched in these areas. You should also avoid hugging your pet because it can restrict your dog’s movement, making dogs more tense.
Calming Dog Treats
True Hemp™ Calming products use hemp and calming property ingredients in a dental stick format or treats to support the reduction of tension in our most sensitive companions.
Both the True Hemp Dental Sticks and True Hemp Dog Treats contain chamomile and lemon balm which are natural calming herbs, hemp leaf and ground hemp seed as well as green tea for natural calming support.
Play Calming Music
Playing calming music is an effective technique to calm a dog and is used by many veterinarians and dog owners.
There have been many studies that suggest that playing classical music as a background noise can put your dog in a relaxed state and relieve anxious emotions.
Lickimats & Slow Feeders
Recognised as one of the most leading anti-anxiety tools for dogs and cats, lickimats and slow feeders have many mental and physical benefits for pets. We have previously explored the positive impact of them in our blog, Lickimats: The Benefits of a Slow Feeder for Dogs.
The licking action is what calms your dogs by producing endorphins, the ‘happy’ chemical into the body. It’s designed to promote calm behaviour by stimulating your pet’s tongue.
- The Lickimat Slomo
- Lickimat Soother
- Junior Licking Plate for puppies
- Lickimat Splash for anxious pets during bath time
- Eat Slow Live Longer Slow Feeder range
A combination of natural calming and botanical extracts, there are many herbal remedies that can calm a dog. High end calming herbal remedies commonly use valerian which is a natural ingredient that has a calming and balancing effect on the central nervous system and pain relief. Scullcap is also traditionally used for nervous tension and anxiety with a calming effect.
Physical exercise has been proven to do a bundle of positive things for our minds and bodies, so why would it be any different for dogs? Taking your dog for a walk can reduce cortisol levels - the stress hormone.
High levels of cortisol in dogs can also decrease sleep, making your dog feel even more stressed out. So taking your dog out in the fresh air will lower the stress hormone and hopefully make them tired afterwards so they can get a good night's sleep.
Are There Any Other Methods You Find Useful?
These are just a few of our methods that we find useful in helping to calm a dog. There are many other ways that can help to reduce stress and anxiety in pets and some work more efficiently than others depending on the dog because all dogs are different.
If your dog is experiencing severe anxiety, please seek professional help from your veterinarian.
Looking for more educational blogs? Read The Truth About Rawhide Dog Treats.