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January 18, 2021 4 min read

Watching your pet suffer is never fun, whether the cause is physical or psychological. It’s not uncommon for dogs to feel anxious from loud noises, past trauma, new people or dogs, disruptions in their routine, or separation anxiety.

We know how stress makes us feel, so when our dogs are anxious, we naturally want to do everything we can to help them feel more at ease.

Here are a few tips on how to understand and help reduce your pup’s anxiety.

How to tell when your dog is anxious

Before you can help relieve your dog’s stress, you need to be able to tell when your dog is feeling anxious. Just like humans, there are lots of reasons why your furry friend might be anxious, and their symptoms may not always be easy to notice or interpret.

Here are a few common signs of stress to look out for:

  • Excessive barking or crying
  • Trembling
  • Yawning, licking, and drooling
  • Tucked tail
  • Hiding or trying to escape
  • Diarrhea
  • Chewing, digging, and other hyperactive behavior
Adorable Dog with Separation Anxiety

Every pet is different, and dogs can develop anxiety because of teething, an illness, an injury, lack of socialization, traumatic experiences from their past, natural aging, or a variety of other reasons. By far the most common form of anxiety in dogs is separation anxiety.

Dealing with separation anxiety in dogs

Does your pet cry, whine, bark, or try to jump into your arms when you leave the house? When you get home, do they act like they haven’t seen you in months? These are signs that your dog may be suffering from separation anxiety.

It’s very common for dogs to develop this type of anxiety, especially if they’re not used to being left alone or if they have a history of neglect or abandonment. Although your furry pal would probably love to spend time with you all day, every day, sometimes you simply have to leave them alone for a while.

Calming a dog with anxiety

While it will take time and repetition to help relieve your dog’s separation anxiety, there are a few things you can do to help in the short term.

  • Don’t make a big deal of leaving the house, and try to avoid hugging, petting, or otherwise comforting your dog before you go. This will signal to your pet that you’re about to leave, which may trigger their anxiety.
  • Try giving your dog a treat right before you leave, to help them associate your departure with something positive. Treats with calming ingredients, like True Leaf Pet’s True Hemp Calming Chews (or sticks, which can help distract your dog for longer), are a great option.

 

  • Play calming music for your dog (specifically made for pets) when you leave the house for long periods of time.
  • Set up a safe, familiar place for your dog to spend time and feel comfortable while you’re gone. Include things like a soft blanket, heat packs, and a teething aid for puppies.

 

  • When you come home, say hello to your dog with a few pets and kisses, but try not to make a huge deal of your return. This will help normalize the idea of you leaving the house and then returning.
Dog relaxing in bed no anxiety

 

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Try a natural remedy

Although in some cases, your dog may need a prescription or other medical intervention from a vet to treat severe anxiety, there are some great ways to calm your dog naturally, whether they have separation anxiety or are just feeling anxious during a thunderstorm or while traveling.

Natural dog calming products come in oil, capsule, cream, and chewable forms, and can go a long way in helping your pup calm down during a stressful time.

Especially if your dog is experiencing environmentally induced stress, which is common during trips to the vet or fireworks displays, it’s a good idea to have a fast-acting, natural solution up your sleeve. The Dog Calming Pet Gummi Vitamins from Licks are perfect for these situations.

 


Active Happy Dog Running Through Woods

Another great natural solution is to exercise your dog when they’re stressed. Exercise is known to be an effective way to reduce anxiety in humans, and the same goes for our four-legged friends! Not only does running outside or playing with a toy provide a distraction, but it also helps your pup release some of that energy that gets wound up by anxiety. Massages, snuggles, and words of praise can go a long way as well!

Let us help you reduce your dog’s stress

At King Duke’s, we know that your pet is family, and watching them experience anxiety can be really hard. Although helping your pup cope with their stress will likely take lots of time, patience, love, and, of course, petting and snuggles, we can help you find the perfect stress-reducing supplies to help you along the way.

Shop online, or visit us at our store in Beaverton, Oregon for products that can help your furry companion relax.


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