Does your dog bark constantly when someone comes home? Dogs can display behavioral problems such as aggression, excessive licking or grooming, and snapping at people for different reasons. Most of the time, dogs get anxious due to loud noises or if there is a change in environment or routine.
There are three types of anxiety that your dog can suffer from: noise anxiety, separation anxiety, and social anxiety. In the first case, the dog perceives any loud noise as a major threat and reacts in a restless way. If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, he may become destructive and cause harm to the things in the house or to himself. Social anxiety causes your dog to become fearful and scared when exposed to new places and people.
When evaluating treatment for your dog’s anxiety, consider the source of the anxiety. Is your dog anxious about being left alone? Being confined? Or is the anxiety caused by loud noises, travel, or sudden changes in the environment or routine? Some dogs have phobias of certain objects, types of people, or specific situations.
Anxiety can cause your pet to experience emotional stress. Follow these four simple tips to reassure your pet when he is overwhelmed:
Attention is all he needs
Leaving your pets alone at home for a long period of time makes them feel lonely and increases stress and anxiety. Pets seek attention, so spend time with them. Give your dog a nice, relaxing massage; this will help calm and soothe his worked-up nerves.
Be patient with him
Do not scold or punish your pet for anxious behavior, as this is a distress response. To manage your pet during such situations, consult your vet for advice or try to swaddle him in a tight-fitting garment. The feeling of continuous pressure can help calm your dog's nerves.
Just like us, even our pets seek some extra comfort in stressful situations. Give your dog that extra love and care to overcome anxiety. Play a relaxing tune. There are certain rhythms that can help desensitize your dog to noise phobia.
Distract him from noise
Try to divert your dog's attention. Moving his focus from unknown sounds or places that are frightening will help him overcome the fear. Engage your dog in tricks that he already knows and reward him with treats. Play a game of tug or even practice simple commands like sit, stand, and stay.
In recurrent cases of anxiety, you could also soothe your pet with Anxocare®, a natural and safe behavior modifier. But, it is advisable to seek your vet’s recommendations to better understand the cause of your pet’s anxiousness and to choose the right treatment to calm his nerves.