Dealing with Anxiety in Dogs: Four Types

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You do your best to keep your dog happy and healthy at all times—after all, a dog’s joy is contagious, and you can’t help but be happy when their tail wags. So if your pup has been suffering from behavioral issues like hyperactivity, aggression, destructive tendencies, fear of loud noises or people, and separation anxiety, it can be tough to find a resolution. Dogs aren’t people, and they can’t tell us when something is wrong, hurts their ears, or scares them. 

Whether your dog is a quarantine puppy who isn’t used to being left home alone or an adopted shelter dog who hates loud noises, it can be hard to watch your furry best friend struggle with anxiety. Your dog looks to you to protect them from the dangers that they perceive, and luckily, there are some easy remedies for dealing with anxiety in dogs. A rejuvenating walk, some cuddles, or calming treats for dogs might be all your dog needs to feel relaxed and reassured. Read on for some solutions to your dog’s anxiety and common fear-related behavioral issues.

1. Tips for Nighttime Anxiety

If your dog tends to cry at night or has trouble sleeping by themselves, treats that contain both L-theanine and melatonin can help ease your dog’s anxiety.

Just like humans, a delicious snack can help boost your dog’s mood. Seek out organic treats with all-natural ingredients for a snack that’s both tasty and safe for your dog’s stomach. Calming treats for dogs that contain ingredients like L-theanine and L-Tryptophan help support serotonin production while reducing stress and feelings of restlessness in your dog. 

If you’re looking for other calming treats for dogs with ingredients to help relax a hyperactive or excitable pup when it’s bedtime, look for treats that contain chamomile and lavender, both of which are known for their calming properties. There are a plethora of calming treats for dogs in unique flavors, and you might also consider wrapping your dog’s treat in a Kong toy. Your dog will stay entertained while working to reach the treat.

In addition, if your dog becomes stressed out at night, it may be because he or she feels like they have no safe place to relax. Make sure you have a designated, comfortable spot for your dog at nighttime, such as a crate or bed lined with blankets and soft toys.

2. Tips for Hyperactivity

If your dog suffers from hyperactivity or restlessness due to anxiety, exercise can be a great way to reduce their stress. Hyperactive and destructive behaviors are common in very intelligent breeds of dogs that are easily bored. Your dog may be hyperactive if he or she cannot rest in a familiar environment, has a short attention span, spins in circles, or has fidgety movements. Taking your dog for a walk and playing fetch with them in the park can ensure that their energy is well-spent and leave them ready to sleep at the day’s end. If your dog is craving some mental stimulation, try taking your pup to an obstacle or agility course. Jumping through hoops and weaving around poles will simultaneously tire your dog out and make them think. 

Some intelligent, hyperactive breeds of dogs also find entertainment in puzzle games. Pushing buttons and pulling levers in search of a treat will help distract them from whatever is making them anxious. There are plenty of levels—from beginner to intermediate to expert—so your dog won’t get frustrated if they can’t solve the puzzle on the first try. And if you really want to keep your dog entertained, you can try out buttons to teach your dog how to talk. This way, you and your dog can learn to communicate in the same language. It’s important that your dog is able to express when he or she is stressed so you can understand what triggers your pet.

3. Tips for Separation Anxiety

If you’re like many other pet owners who adopted a new puppy during quarantine, your dog might struggle with separation anxiety now that you’re returning to your regular routine. Your dog might get so anxious when you leave that he or she has accidents or engages in destructive behavior. Start out by leaving your dog alone for short bursts at a time to help your pup adjust. Try to desensitize your dog to being separated from you by starting small—even if it’s as small as going to the bathroom without your dog and telling them to sit and stay. Giving your dog a new toy or a favorite treat when you leave can also be helpful. Calming treats for dogs with ingredients like lavender and other organic herbs can be a great solution here, too.

4. Tips for Anxious Aggression

There is no such thing as a bad dog, but some dogs may be more prone to aggression due to anxiety or past trauma. If your dog snaps or bites at people and animals, he or she might just be demonstrating fear and trying to protect you. Dogs usually display specific body language before they’re ready to bite, so make sure you watch out for growling, bared teeth, pinned-back ears, and stiff body posture. If your dog has demonstrated fear around new people or dislikes being touched, move slowly and respect your dog’s space. Make sure you’re using positive reinforcement training, rewarding your dog with treats whenever he or she is calm and does not display aggression in a frightening situation. 

Your dog is your best friend no matter what, and they trust you to keep them safe—just as you trust them to give puppy kisses when you’re feeling blue. There could be many potential causes for your dog’s anxiety, but these tips will ensure that your dog feels safe and learns how to relax.

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