Anxiety Busters

Anxiety Busters
Six effective ways to calm an anxious dog


Photo OlgaNik/

1. A dog camera or activity monitor

A camera lets you keep an eye on what your dog is up to. By monitoring remotely and then intervening before your dog is distressed, you can set your dog up for success. Start out close by and return in short time increments, ideally while your dog is calm, and work up to longer periods. Or simply use it to understand triggers or interrupt behaviour by speaking to your dog.

The Furbo dog camera lets you see, talk, and check in on your dog via your phone, and give treats remotely. Real-time alerts are sent to your phone. ($169,

The Animo activity and behaviour monitor for dogs sends alerts to your cell phone if it detects changes in your dog’s behaviour like barking, scratching or shaking. The small waterproof device, worn on a collar, learns and interprets the unique activity and behavior patterns of your dog, from morning walks to barking at the Amazon delivery guy. ($90,


2. Treat-dispensing puzzle toys

One of the best and easiest ways to keep your dog busy and happily engaged? Enrichment toys that offer mental stimulation. (Food for the win!)

P.L.A.Y.’s Wobble Ball dog toy is designed to be nudged, pawed and rolled around to release treats. Simply insert your dog’s favorite treats or kibble into this interactive puzzle toy and watch your dog stay mentally and physically stimulated while trying to get her paws on these tasty rewards. ($19,

Reduce anxiety, boredom, and destructive behaviour with a trainer and vet recommended Lickimat. The wobbling action adds an extra dimension to the challenge of licking the treat, yogurt, peanut butter or food from the dimpled, natural rubber surface. For puppies or known chewers, consider the LickiMat Tuff instead. ($16,


Photo IG: @thewindycityfrenchie

3. A Mom Substitute

This stuffy with a heartbeat is especially ideal for puppies transitioning from their mom and littermates to a new home, but all dogs can benefit. (Plus, how cute is it?!) Aptly named Snuggle Puppy, it recreates the intimacy and physical warmth with a “real feel” heartbeat, designed to comfort and reduce loneliness and separation anxiety in your four-legged friend. ($40,


Photo NynkevanHolten/

4. Pheromone Power

Naturally calm your dog with the power of pheromones. Pheromone diffusers and sprays mimic the pheromones nursing dog-moms emit to create feelings of comfort and safety. A pheromone product like ThunderEase, available as a spray or plug-in diffuser, helps put an end to anxiety-induced behaviours like destructive chewing, house soiling, and problem barking by helping dogs feel comfortable and relaxed in their environment. (from $15,


Photo matka_Wariatka/

5. Essential Oils

A time old remedy, essential oils can be used to calm dogs, but caution should be taken as essential oils used incorrectly can be harmful to canines. Choose a vet-approved formulation designed for dogs, like the Furbliss Calming Spray, formulated to keep your dog calm through thunderstorms, vet visits, car rides, and more. Made with a unique blend of botanical extracts and dog-safe essential oils, this spray is easy to use and vet recommended. Works for cats, too. ($7,


Photo New Africa/

6. CBD to the Rescue!

Increasingly, pet owners are turning to CBD, a non-psychoactive derivative of hemp, to address their dog’s anxiety—and with good reason. The testimonials speak for themselves. “Some dogs before taking CBD had such horrible behaviour problems, and in an urban environment anxiety can go through the roof,” says Dr. Kramer, a veterinarian at Vancouver Animal Wellness Clinic, “but soon after taking it owners tell me they ‘have their dog back.’” Here are four to try:

Suzie’s Goes Nuts CBD peanut butter from Suzie’s CBD is made with just two ingredients: freshly ground organic peanuts and 125 mg of their full-spectrum, locally-grown USDA organic CBD. ($25,

Specifically formulated to help with severe anxiety and seizures, the Health Drops Severe Symptoms from Healthier Pet couple 1500 mg of CBD with organic hemp, fish, and coconut oils in a Health Canada lab tested formula. ($70,

Combining pharmaceutical grade USA-grown CBD and fish oil, Iceland Pure’s CBD Tinctures work to reduce anxiety, pain, inflammation, and seizures. (from $50,

Veterinarian-formulated, Naturecan’s beef-flavoured CBD Soft Chews for dogs contain broad-spectrum CBD oil, as well as calcium powders for dental support and flaxseed oil for digestive support. Get $10 off with code MDM10. ($40,

⇒ Are you inadvertently causing your dog's separation anxiety? For five ways to prevent doing so, read this feature:

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