Dogs are one of the best and most faithful friends of a human. They like to spend time and play with their owners and in the outcome they spread joy and love on the faces of their owners.
It is commonly noticed that dogs fall easily into anxiety when they are left alone, specifically when they have been together with others for a long time and then separated
What Causes Anxiety in the dogs
Most commonly, it is seen that anxiety attacks come out of nowhere. But the most casual reasons are routine change, location change, change in care taking, or environmental activities.
The most common reason nowadays is life after that flu thing that has been going round that starts with C and ends in 19. I don’t dare speak its name any more as I am sick of hearing about it. The dogs become habitual of spending time with their owners at home. Then the familiar routine changes that allow for anxiety attacks in your dog.
Types of Dog Anxiety
There are four common forms of anxiety in the dogs:
- Separation Anxiety
This sort of anxiety occurs when a dog is separated from its owner, any human who was attached to it, or shifting to a new place.
- Generalized Anxiety
This type of anxiety is one of the hardest to deal with. Dogs with this anxiety generally exhibit signs almost constantly and suffer regularly. This type of anxiety has no specific reason or has anything that could trigger it. This is commonly found in trained dogs as well.
- Environmental Anxiety
This type of anxiety is seen to be occurring specifically when the dog is taken or shifted to another place where they are not habitual, nor do they like it. The most common example of this type is visiting the vets' clinic.
Sometimes it is also caused due to loud noises such as sirens, alarms ,fireworks and thunder. Or maybe just due to some scary locations.
- Social Anxiety
This type of anxiety is commonly seen among the rescued dogs that behave disturbed when around new people or other living beings. This can be due to a past trauma.
How to spot a dog with Anxiety
The symptoms of anxiety vary from dog to dog and are totally dependent upon the type and severity of their anxiety.
The most common thing to check if your dog is suffering from anxiety is the change in the body language of the dog. The change consists of unusual reactions, walking style, behavioural change, or irregularities in barking.
How to relax your dog during the Anxiety Attack
If you have noticed some of the symptoms indicating that your dog is facing anxiety, then it is your responsibility to help your dog overcome it.
There are a few ways to help your dog overcome the situation.
- Serve them treats:
The dogs like licking and are commonly seen licking their favourite things when in a happy mood. Offering your dog something that is healthy that could divert their mind can help a lot.
- Get them toys:
When you feel the dog is having an anxiety attack, then you must think of getting them a couple of new toys. They would love to play to divert their mind during a hard time of anxiety attack.
- Attract them to your trained behaviours:
If your dog is facing anxiety attacks and keeps rejecting all the food, you must try to engage them and communicate through behavioural commands such as shaking hands, sitting, or laying down.
- Make them feel safe:
Creating such spaces that make your dog feel safe can help a lot in overcoming this hard situation. Ideally, you should offer your dog the same bed with a cozy blanket or a mat when you are visiting some potentially stressful places. Try to practice rewarding behaviours with your dogs frequently to make them feel good.
- Give them massages or touch nicely:
Commonly a dog needs to relax and get a bit of attention. Offering your dog some massages like ear massage, belly massage, or forehead massages can help your dog release all the tensions and stress out of their body. These work for all types of dog anxiety and especially well for environmental based anxiety, such as loud noises like thunder and fireworks
- Dog anxiety jacket
If you don't have enough time to offer them a massage, then you can also try a dog anxiety jacket or thundershirt as some like to call them. They all very similar and help to make your dog feel relaxed and comfortable by offering warmth and compression. Dolphin & Dog now offer a 3 in 1 dog anxiety jacket meticulously designed by myself, to not only help when their legs go a bit wobbly but is also designed to dry and cool your dog. Please check it out.
Always remember treating anxiety in your dogs is not an easy job, this cannot happen overnight. The anxiety can not be treated by using a product just once. you will need to pay attention to this and work with it till your dog is better equipped to handle anxious situations.
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