You might think that anxiety is a trait that’s only prevalent in humans, but it can affect many dogs as well. Dogs suffer from anxiety for various reasons, from abandonment by previous owners through to where they live.
If you’ve got a dog that exhibits signs of anxiety, the good news is you can take some practical and actionable steps to help your canine companion cope better. In some cases, pet owners can even help completely cure their dogs of their anxiety issues.
I was recently chatting with my daughter who mentioned that her furbaby, Brooklyn the Goldendoodle, now suffers from anxiety since the pandemic. While he was fine before with her going to work for a few hours a day, now that she’s consistently home and he sees her for longer periods, whenever she leaves, he would behave in a manner that is quite unlike him.
With all that in mind, here’s what you need to try to help your dog cope with anxiety:
Spend More Time With Your Dog
One of the most significant reasons for anxiety in dogs is because they get left alone for long periods. If you have to leave your dog alone during the day, for example, because you have to go to work, you should find ways to stop them from being alone for so long.
You could get a pet sitter or dog walker to take your pet dog out for a walk a couple of times a day. Or, you could perhaps ask a relative or friend to dog-sit for you during the day while you’re at work.
Ideally, though, you need to spend more time with your dog personally. Otherwise, it might be worth considering if your pet is better off living elsewhere due to your work commitments.
Create a Sanctuary for Your Dog
When your canine companion feels anxious and stressed, do they have anywhere “safe” to go? It’s worth designating an area of your home that is only the domain of your pet. You should outfit that area with their toys, access to fresh, clean water, and a comfy bed.
On the subject of beds, be sure to look for the best calming dog bed that you can buy. Generally speaking, if you fit it comfortable to lay down on their bed, it will be comfy for your pet too.
Play Some Calming Music
There’s research to show that when exposing dogs to classical music, they appear calmer, relaxed, and less anxious. It can be something to play to your canine companion if you need to leave them alone for a while or when there are loud noises from fireworks.
The great news is you don’t have to buy lots of classical music CDs or even find a radio station that plays such music. You can easily stream classical music from online services like Spotify or YouTube for free.
Give Your Dog a Massage
Lastly, have you ever noticed that when someone gives you a massage, it feels relaxing, and you end up less tense and anxious? The same outcome applies to dogs as well. You can give your dog a relaxing massage when they feel really anxious, and it will help calm them.
The best way to massage your dog is by starting from their neck and working down their back in long strokes. It makes sense to do that while keeping one hand constantly fixed on your dog to reassure them.
We hope our tips will help you get a better handle on managing your canine companion’s anxiety.