Who’s the Emotional Support Here? How to Calm an Anxious Dog

Pets are like us in many ways, including the ability to become anxious or nervous. This can happen when a dog is taken to a new setting or when encountering strangers, even well-meaning ones like neighbors or the veterinarian. Since it is likely your canine friend will experience situations that may cause anxiety, here are a few tips to help your pet relax.

Training

In addition to teaching your puppy important behavior rules, you should also help him or her learn how to relax in diverse circumstances. While it is natural for pets (and us) to feel uneasy around new people or in an unfamiliar location, dogs, like us, should be able to feel comfortable in an nonthreatening environment. You may want to use a code word like “relax” as you gently stroke your pet’s head to signal your support and to confirm this is a safe situation. Using a low, calm tone of voice may also help.

Exposure

Socializing your dog can help the pet get used to people, a change of scenery, and new activities. Keeping your dog away from others in the same location without exposure to other people can lead to anxiety when new situations arise. Daily outdoor walks around other pedestrians lets your pet know that other people are not necessarily bad. Taking your pet to be groomed or on errands in your car can also help to reduce tension as your dog becomes accustomed to change.

Health

Regular veterinarian checkups help to ensure your dog is healthy and does not have any underlying medical conditions or behavioral issues that need to be addressed. In addition to regular exercise and play time to wear off energy and keep your pet happy, anti-anxiety food for dogs can help to promote nutritional health as well as a normal disposition by reducing anxiety.

Care

In addition to these things, your dog needs plenty of bonding time with you, including exercise, play, and leisure. Your relaxed attitude can be sensed by your pet and will likely influence his or her behavior. Showing kindness and sensitivity as well as firm but fair discipline will help dogs to adjust to a healthy outlook while avoiding undue anxiety.

Some dog breeds may be more prone to anxiety than others. Yet, there is much an owner can do to train and care for a dog to help ease its stress and maintain effective social behavior.




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