How To Help A Dog With Anxiety

How To A Dog With Anxiety
How To Help A Dog With Anxiety
Thunderstorm Phobia? Fireworks Fear? Here's how to deal with common forms of dog anxiety.

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How To Help A Dog With Anxiety

 

Summer’s festive fireworks and fearsome thunderstorms can freak out even normally relaxed dogs. For dogs with anxiety or a nervy disposition, these events can seem like World War 3. Unfortunately, dogs running off and getting hurt during these events is all too common—vets and animal shelters report their busiest time of the year is July 4th. How to help a dog with anxiety stay secure and relaxed during storms and fireworks with these seven ways to calm an anxious dog and keep them safe.

 

dog anxiety

1. Make sure your dog has some form of ID on them. Whether this is a tag, tattoo, or microchip—or better yet, all three—identification can help get your lost dog returned to you faster. If you are travelling, make sure your dog has a temporary vacation ID tag with your updated contact information. Make your own DIY Vacation Dog Tag with our easy to customize, free template.

2. Keep a pheromone spray or diffuser on hand. Safe to use at any age, pheromone diffusers mimic the pheromones produced by mother dogs, sending calming messages to your pup and reducing stress-related behaviours. We like ThunderEase calming pheremones.

 

3. Prepare a tempting distraction. Chewing and licking have been shown to help a dog with anxiety. If you know there are going to be fireworks or other anxiety-inducing events, make sure your dog has a safe space to be. Try providing a high value distraction, such as a stuffed Kong, a special chew, or a puzzle toy with hidden, extra-tasty treats. Note that dogs with severe anxiety likely won’t partake.

 

4. Close the blinds or curtains. Visual stimulation can make your dog’s anxiety worse. The flash of fireworks or lightening can be just as terrifying as the noises they make. Close the curtains and block the view.

 

5. Chill out with CBD. CBD or cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive component of hemp, has been shown to safely help dogs with anxiety. Tinctures and CBD-infused treats make it easy to administer.

6. Give your dog plenty of food, water, and exercise earlier in the day. Your dog probably won’t eat when anxious, so make sure they’ve had a good meal beforehand. Always keep fresh water available to your dog but encourage hydration before the triggering activities start as they may not want to drink either. Exercise will help your dog release any excess energy that can later turn into anxiety.

 

7. Reduce stress with gentle compression. Like swaddling an infant, the Thundershirt anxiety jacket (from $40, thunderworks.com) applies gentle, constant pressure to calm all types of anxiety, fear, and over-excitement issues.

These tips will help a dog with anxiety through those tough moments.

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