Behavioral changes are a good indication your pet is stressed by something. Sometimes the changes you notice are caused by a medical problem, but just like us, pets can experience purely mental or emotional stress following a change in routine or exposure to loud or new noises, among other causes.
Instead of simply relying on medication to mask symptoms, why not try a few natural remedies to calm your pet’s anxiety? It may take time to figure out which one(s) your pet responds to the best, but is worth trying, for their comfort.
TIP: If you know your dog will be placed in a situation that might feel stressful, such as a grooming appointment, try taking your dog for a brisk walk prior to the appointment.
Natural Solutions for Dog Anxiety
Always going to your vet first so they can diagnose the root cause of the stress and rule out a more serious medical or behavioral issue.
Once your vet has confirmed it’s not a health issue, these natural stress remedies for pets could be precisely what your pet needs to return to his normal, happy self.
Sometimes, your stress becomes your pet’s stress. If a crazy schedule means you aren’t taking your dog for the regular walks he’s become accustomed to, he’ll feel anxiety.
The change in routine, the loneliness and the feeling of being cooped up are all possible contributors to stress that can be eliminated by simply taking your pup outside to stretch his legs and get some fresh air.
A tired dog is a happy dog, and sometimes, the best home remedy for dog anxiety is getting them out of the house and letting them exercise. Even old dogs need regular exercise, as long as it involves activities that are easier on their aging joints.
This stress-relief technique works on several levels. For instance, teaching your dog a new trick diverts his attention away from whatever is causing the stress in the first place.
You’re also engaging with him one-on-one—something many stressed dogs crave from their owners after long days alone at home. Some dogs develop stress behaviors out of boredom, which can be avoided by simply having some fun together.
Tiredness doesn’t just come from physical exertion, mental exertion can have the same calming effects. It doesn’t matter what new trick you teach your dog—anything that challenges him can provide stress relief.
Taking a different route for a “scent walk” can provide both physical exercise and extra stimulation as your dog sniffs new bushes and meets new neighbors.
Adding enrichment to your pet’s day by feeding him from a puzzle ball or toy provides additional mental stimulation. There is no rule that says animals should only eat out of a bowl!
Studies have shown, the right music can be effective in decreasing signs of anxiety in dogs.
Playing your pet’s favorite music at a low volume can add another layer of calm to your pet’s environment.
Individual dogs have distinct preferences so watch your dog’s body language to see which musical genre your dog responds to.
Anything that makes the body work better will make the brain work better. Some locations on a dog’s body—like the feet, the ears and the top of the head—are natural pressure points where as little as 15 minutes of massaging your pet will make a world of difference for their stress level by stimulating the release of the body’s pain-relieving substances without any potentially adverse side effects.
Maybe therapy for your dog is as simple as 15 minutes of brushing every night. It will feel great for your animal, and it’ll be more time he gets to spend with his owner. You will also have an opportunity to observe his skin for excessive licking, lesions or abrasions, which can be a sign of something more serious.
NOTE: I am not endorsing any of these methods, they are simply suggestions. Try at your own risk. Sonny’s Spaw is not liable for any injuries or illnesses that occur.