Three Tips for Helping Your Dogs Anxiety
by guest writer Mollie Wilson
August 4, 2019
Who's the one friend that you would absolutely anything for? And that means anything, absolutely anything; from feeding them to giving them hugs to scratching their ear to picking up their poop. I'm guessing the only friend of yours who you'd considering doing any of this for has four paws, two floppy ears, and a wet nose. Your dog gets more of your attention and care than almost any friend you have, sometimes even more than your spouse (much to their dismay), and for good reason too. You are your dog's whole world. When you're happy, they're happy; when you're sad, they're sad; when you're stressed, they're stressed. You are their entire life and sole provider. In turn, they're your best friend, confidant and walking buddy.
While dogs have always been a staple in the American household, in recent years, they've garnered even more esteem in the eyes of their humans as they've been seen more and more for their value. Some might even say we've begun to
spoil our dogs
While this is probably true in some instances, dogs have become more and more versatile as well. There are emotional support dogs, seeing-eye dogs, bomb sniffing dogs, service dogs, dogs who serve in the military, k-9 units and dogs in other roles as well. As we grow closer and closer with mans best friend, it's important to remember to reciprocate their unconditional love with what we owe to them as owners as well. We owe it to them to take care of them and to make sure they remain as happy as they make us.
While many dogs are innately happy, even the happiest dog sometimes gets anxiety. Like humans, each dog is unique with its type and how much anxiety it has; and, like humans, what is needed to relieve that anxiety can vary as well.
Dog anxiety can be caused by a variety of different circumstances and can also come along without a significant trigger as well in high-anxiety dogs. Some causes are: thunder storms, boredom, new situations, new dogs, separation, loneliness, and lack of mental stimulation. While in severe cases of anxiety, a vet visit and medication can be necessary, in many dogs, anxiety can be cured by one of these three basic ways:
1. Anxiety Vests
While these are a fairly new product, having only come to popularity in the last five or so years, anxiety vests, sometimes also referred to as thunder vests, have made a huge impact on dog anxiety. While sometimes referred to as thunder vests and used for dogs with severe anxiety during thunderstorms, they're also great for curing your dog's anxiety triggered by other circumstances as well. For example, many dogs are scared by and get anxiety from fireworks do the fourth of July, thunder vests have shown to help tremendously with your dogs' anxiety from those. In addition, anxiety vests are also great for hyperactive dogs or dogs who get anxious with new visitors or in new situations. Putting your vest on your dog before you have visitors can keep him calm, instead of his nerves inciting when grandma comes over for a visit. They have also shown to be good for dogs who experience separation anxiety as well, though, if your pet is left alone, it's not advised to leave the vest on them, as it's always best for them to have supervision while wearing it, should they get caught in anything or begin to chew on the vest.
2. CBD Oil
CBD Oil has only recently become a popular way for treating human anxiety, however, it's been popular to give pets for a bit longer. Unlike a thunder vest, CBD oil is a good solution for a wide variety of dog anxiety and requires little to no supervision as well. CBD oil is a great solution for dogs with extremely high or persistent anxiety. The best and safest way to administer CBD oil to your dog is usually through coconut oil. Coconut oil alone is already extremely good for dogs (in monitored and moderate amounts) as it relieves itching, gives their coat a shine, and helps to fight plaque and bad breath in their teeth. Coconut CBD oil is even better as it has the added benefit of relieving your dog's anxiety as well. Simply melt it slightly (if needed) and stir it into their food, be it wet or dry food. The majority of dogs love the taste of coconut oil and won't have an issue gobbling up every last bite. When looking for the right CBD coconut oil for your dog, make sure to look at what testing is being done on it and to see if it's organic, as those will ensure the safety of your pet.
3. Exercise/Outdoor Activity
While every dog needs exercise and outdoor activity, it's especially important for dogs with high anxiety. Like humans, exercise in dogs releases happy endorphins and adrenaline that will naturally fight off your dog's anxiety. It will also keep them physically healthy and fit as well. Depending on what type of anxiety your dog experiences, you have a multitude of options when exercising your dog. If he loves social interaction with other dogs, try taking him to a dog park or pond to play and socialize; if he has social anxiety and doesn't really play well with others, try taking him on a walk or hiking on a trail. Even if you don't always have the time to do one of these fun activities, letting him run in the backyard and playing a quick game of fetch can do a tremendous amount of good for releasing pent up energy and relieving your dog's anxiety.
While these tips are great and have proven successful for many dog owners, be sure when taking care of your dog's anxiety to address your own anxiety and stress as well. Like stated before, you are your dog's whole world, so when you're stressed or anxious, it's going to make his anxiety worse as well. Whatever type of anxiety your dog has, or even if he has low anxiety but is hyperactive, these basic tips and tricks can make a world of difference not just to your dog's world, but in your world too.
Author Bio: Mollie Wilson is a freelance writer from North Carolina. When she is not writing, she is persuing an adventurous life- backpacking, climbing, exploring local coffee shops, and traveling.