Dogs are one of the most loyal animals in the world. Having a pet dog around is like having a best friend. They are happy when you are and are sad with you when you feel sad. They do their best to protect you from any threat. Whether it is a small chihuahua or a Great Dane, you can count on it that they will do their best to protect you. However, we as humans do not feel and be tone-deaf sometimes to our dog’s feelings.
Did you know that when you are being loud with other people and celebrate huge events where you get loud with all those fireworks and guns, like on the 4th of July, your dog is having a mental breakdown? They are confused and downright terrified at those loud booms and crashes.
These festivities are not the only culprit that adds to the mental torture and anxiety your dog is facing. There might also be times when you go away from your dog to enjoy a holiday. This event also brings a ton of anxiety as our little friend feels that you might have gone away forever.
Anxiety in dogs usually stems from the following reasons:
- Your dog has been abandoned or is feeling abandoned.
- They are sound like someone else’s pets.
- They are around people they do not know.
- They are around children they do not know.
- They are traveling with you.
- They hear loud noises like fireworks or thunderstorms.
- They are home alone
- They might be going to a new home.
- They have lost their owner.
- The routine of the people around them has changed.
- They are adopted for the very first time.
Now, When do you know your dog is feeling anxious?
You can see or diagnose your dog when they are anxious by observing a pattern of behavior. Here are a few behavioral traits you might notice when your dog is anxious.
- They might become destructive
- They might become hostile
- They might lose their appetite
- They might become fully withdrawn
- They might try to escape
- They whine excessively
When you see any of these behavioral patterns from the above list, you should know that your dog is anxious. I will tell you as you read ahead about relaxing your furry little friend, but before addressing that, you need to pinpoint why they are anxious in the first place. Once you Pinpoint it, we can move to ways to keep your furry friend relaxed.
Anxiety can be cured. But sometimes you will have to manage it. Here are the most effective ways to keep your dog relaxed and do away with their anxiety problem.
MAKE THE DOG FEEL CALMED BY STAYING CALM
We understand that this might be the very first time you might be dealing with this. You have no idea how to handle an anxious dog, and you are now on the verge of a mental breakdown. Now, take a deep breath and calm down. This is nothing new and happens all the time. You have to handle it right. Now how do you do that? First of all, do not even let your dog smell the anxiety in you. The thing about dogs is that they are keen observers of their owner’s behavior. They are going to pick up that anxiety in you before the neurons even hit your brain. So calm down. Now comfort your dog with that calm and assuring demeanor. But don’t you go on overdoing it now. If they sense even a little bit of anxiety in you, then the problem will get a lot worse.
I can see just reading this paragraph might have given you some shivers, but on behalf of the self-aware author of this piece, do know that this is nothing new. It will not be long until your dog is going to be their old self again, so just for the sake of your dog, stay calm.
PLAY WITH THEM AND PET THEM OFTEN
So, we both know your dog has abandonment or separation anxiety. The most obvious solution for that might be never to leave them alone. Now, maybe that is possible for you if you are a toddler or a retired person, but for all of those people who fall in the age spectrum of in-between, this might be a tough thing for you. You got to school, work, or social life to maintain. So, we know this is not feasible. Now how do you get rid of that pent up anxiety energy your dog is filled with. How about you take them out for exercise. Play fetch or run with them. Or even better so, take a long walk with them. In essence, what we are trying to do here is tiring them out by that exercise. This exercise will help in the production of endorphins, which will help in getting rid of stress.
Yeah, one more thing, Do pet your dog a lot. When your dog is feeling down, no amount of dog food in the world will pick me up for them. But do you know what will be? Your touch. You might not feel it, or you might do actually, but the most soothing thing your dog can feel when they are anxious is your touch. So be a good pet owner; when you see your dog is feeling down, pick them up, set them in your lap or next to you, and give them a nice long petting session while bringing the next season of Lucifer something.
GIVE THEM A SAFE SPACE TO ESCAPE
You might be out right now lighting up fireworks or shooting your gun or something on the 4th of July. Do you know where your dog is? If your answer is cowering on your lawn, then that is the wrong answer, and you might not even be capable of handling a pet.
Give your furry little friend a place they can call their own. A dog cave or something. So, that when they are feeling stressed or anxious, they know where they need to be. However, please don’t force it on them. This can even backfire on you. Just train them to make a habit of it over time.
GIVE THEM SOMETHING TO LISTEN TO:
Do you feel sad when a slow, sad piano or violin is playing? Well, that music might have some effect on your little friend as well. Make it a habit that whenever your dog is home alone, you have something playing for them in a low volume. You do not need to blow their ear-drums. Just create some white noise for them. This will not only make your dog feel less anxious but also feel alone. This music will also benefit from clocking out the terrifying sounds that might be coming from outside.
Now, here’s a question? What sort of music does your dog prefer? Should it “Party in the USA” or Jam out to “Hate Me” by Ellie Golding? The answer is none of those two or any other that might sound like them. Your dog is a purist when it comes to Music. They prefer old-timey classical music. Their favorite instrument is the Harp, which acts as a sedative for them and helps them sleep.
TRY NO TO CHANGE YOUR ROUTINE ALL OF A SUDDEN
Consistency is key! You might have heard that from every dollar store motivational speaker or guru with a channel on youtube. Well, they are right about that. And Your dog is the most consistent animal you might have in your life. They know exactly when you go out to work and when you come home, and they are already there waiting for you. Dogs love a routine, so why not do them a favor by not catching them off guard by just changing it one day. The one person who might not be able to follow my advice is any pilot who is reading this right now. If you are one, then have someone available for your dog at all times; otherwise, give it up for adoption because your dog is very anxious. Everyone else should follow my advice and try to stick to one routine so that your dog does not suddenly feel like something is very wrong all of a sudden.
As I said earlier, your furry little friend will do anything for you. So why not adjust a few things for them as well. When you think your dog is feeling anxious, then calm yourself down first so that you can truly calm them. Take out some time every day from your busy schedule and take them out to play and exercise. Pet them as often as you can. Please give them a safe space to call their own. Give them some classical music to listen to when they are alone. And do not go on changing your routine all of a sudden.