Last Updated on January 8, 2020
©The Labrador Site
Similar to us, dogs can experience stress and anxiety. Anxiety or stress in dogs are often caused by boredom, loneliness, changes in routine, aging, exposure to a new environment or people, separation from their guardians AKA separation anxiety), etc.
You just know when something is wrong with your pooch by watching their behavior, but just to be sure that it’s the stress that your dog is suffering from, watch out for these signs:
-Your dog is pacing too much.
-Your dog is whining and barking more often.
-Your dog is trembling and panting.
-Your dog is hiding or cowering.
-Your dog is shedding excessive hair.
-Your dog is avoiding or ignoring you.
Those are the ways dogs express mental or emotional stress. Usually, the go-to solution for that is medication.
Though your vet may suggest some medications to help relax your dog or reduce symptoms of anxiety, it seems that there are natural and healthier remedies that can calm your dog down.
#1 – Massage your dog
Once your vet confirms that the symptoms your dog is experiencing are not caused by a physical health problem but rather by stress or anxiety, you can try the first natural remedy on this list: massage.
It is proved that massage does not only promote dogs’ physical health but also their mental and emotional well-being by relieving stress and relaxing them. Massage therapy is also proved to relieve listlessness and hyperactivity in dogs.
When massaging your dog, focus on their natural pressure points like their feet, ears, and the top of the head. Apply gentle pressure on your dog’s limbs for up to 15 minutes every day and your furry friend wil become calmer and happier!
#2 – Help your dog exercise
Another effective way to calm your dog down is through exercise.
Exercise is crucial for your dog’s physical and mental well-being, so if you live a sedentary life or rarely take your dog on walks, it could be the reason behind their stress or anxiety.
Get your dog out of the house every morning or evening, or whenever you have time during the day. Letting your dog run and play outdoors can help them de-stress or rejuvenate themselves if they’re senior dogs.
The more you fill your dog’s day with fun activities, the healthier and stress-free they will be.
#3 – Give your dog mental stimulation
Mental stimulation is very important for dogs. When your dog doesn’t get mentally stimulated, it is only natural for them to get bored and extremely anxious, stressed, or even depressed.
You can help your dog get mental stimulation by making them search for things like food, fetch a ball, play dog puzzle toys, and allowing them to sniff around and explore on walks, etc. Fetch games, especially, help stimulate your dog’s hunting instincts and keeps them entertained.
More often than not, dog stress or anxiety are to blame on neglect by their owners.
#4 – Play classical music for your dog
Music has proved to be our indispensable remedy for stress. It looks like this applies to our furry friends as well.
Research has proved that dogs who are often exposed to music are less likely to get stressed than those who aren’t.
If your dog is diagnosed with stress, play chill and relaxing music to help them chill out. Classical music is the perfect option in this case, especially when the main instruments involve the flute, harp, or piano.
There are plenty of classical music or “dog music” channels on Spotify that you can play for your dog. Start now!
#5 – Avoid stress triggers
Avoid or keep the things that trigger your dog’s stress and anxiety away from them. These things may include loud or screeching noises, fear or anxiety-inducing situation like angry fits or screaming in your household, showing more affection to other pets, etc.
Other public situations that can trigger your dog’s anxiety include fireworks, bratty children pulling at your dog’s tail, or another aggressive dog trying to attack your own dog outside.
Always make sure to hide dangerous products like pesticides that may trigger allergic reactions as well as bouts of anxiety and harm them.
#6 – Spend more time with your dog
Dogs are naturally highly social and pack-oriented animals so they may feel lonely very often. Though you may not have time because of your busy schedule, try not to leave your dog alone at home all the time.
Hire a pet carer to look after your dog and keep them company and when you do have some spare time or during weekends, play with your dog, buy them dog toys, and shower them with dog treats and affection.
If you can’t even do that, then why adopt a dog in the first place? They will only get distressed and sick.
Make time for your ball of fluff for the sake of their own mental and physical health. After all, a happy, relaxed dog is a healthy dog!