Dogs can experience anxiety just like humans do. While we get anxious about job interviews, moving house and driving in crazy traffic, dogs get anxious about things like vet visits, strangers and fireworks.
While the causes are different the fear and stress levels can be the same. But stay calm and read on to find out how you can help your dog if it is suffering from anxiety.
It is important you recognize the signs your pooch displays when it is anxious so you can help ease the stressful feelings and help your fur ball get back to being relaxed and happy.
What are some reasons dogs suffer from anxiety?
If you can learn what triggers your dog you can sometimes avoid those situations. Below is a list of common reasons dogs suffer from anxiety. Some are to be expected like going to the veterinarian clinic, while others are not so usual.
They can be divided into situational and behavioral categories. Travel, thunder and strangers are examples of situational. Old age and separation anxiety fall into the behavioral category.
- Change in home
- Visiting the vet
- Other animals
- Weather such as thunder and wind
- Separation anxiety
- Old age
Every dog is different by nature and what might cause anxiety and stress for one dog might not bother another dog at all.
Signs your dog is suffering from anxiety
- Urinating in unusual places
- Panting and drooling
- Wide eyes
- Restlessness and pacing
- Destructive behavior including chewing everything
- Loss of appetite
- Repeating movements over and over (similar to pacing)
What are some ways to help with common forms of dog anxiety?
Natural remedies are a wonderful way to help your dog cope with the overwhelming feelings of anxiety it may be experiencing.
The great advantage of natural remedies is they are free from chemicals or ingredients that can cause side effects. Your dog can go from being stressed out to calm and happy again very quickly with the introduction of natural remedies.
Natural remedies are affordable and can last for up to six months refrigerated. They are safe and non-toxic so ideal for your dog’s health and wellbeing.
Recommended natural remedies for dogs with anxiety
CBD Oil (Cannabidiol)
CBD oil is a great all-round remedy that can help with many issues including anxiety. So while you might be using CBD oil for anxiety, it may also be helping with other health issues or preventing new ones from developing. The benefits of supplementing CBD oil for your dog are numerous.
The oil is made from the hemp plant and has been used by many cultures around the world for hundreds of years.
There are a range of CBD oils on the market including organic. The oil shouldn’t be confused with cannabis which is also made from the hemp plant. The oil only contains very small amounts of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) so you dog won’t get high. Instead the oil stimulates the body’s ability to produce serotonin which in basic terms makes the dog feel happy and content.
It works within 30 – 60 minutes so if you know you are going into a potentially stressful situation like the vet clinic you have time to prepare. Always check the label for dosage instructions as a small dog like a terrier will need much less CBD oil than a big dog like an Alsatian.
Chamomile is a herb that acts as a sedative and has a powerful calming effect. For dogs that suffer from car sickness or dislike traveling it is wonderful. It is gentle on the stomach and digestive system.
The herb Valerian is another strong natural remedy with sedative properties. It shouldn’t be given to puppies or elderly dogs.
St Johns Wart (Hypericum Perforatum)
A highly recommend herb to reduce anxiety in dogs is St Johns Wart. For fear-based reactions such as fear of fireworks or storms it is useful to calm your dog down. It is also great for dogs suffering from separation anxiety. You can give a dose to your dog when you go to work.
For all of these natural remedies you can easily put a few drops in your dog’s mouth or add to food or water.
Bach Flower Remedies
An English doctor named Edward Bach discovered essence from certain flowers could be used to treat a range of health issues including anxiety in people and dogs. You can try out the essences below or buy blends that combine the essences. Many dog owners report all was rosy after their dog tried Bach flower remedies for anxiety.
- Star of Bethlehem
- Rock Rose
- Cherry Plum
Are some breeds more prone to anxiety than others?
There is little proof that certain dog breeds are more prone to anxiety than others, except in the area of separation anxiety.
By nature some dogs demand more attention and company than others. Included in the group are Chihuahuas, Cocker Spaniels, German Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers.
It often comes down to nature and temperament. While certain breeds have certain temperament traits, any dog breed can display any trait. For example Border Collies are known to be sociable and friendly, but it is possible to find one with an aloof personality. In the same way any dog can be easily stirred up into a ball of anxiety.
If you have bought or adopted an adult or senior dog there may be factors from its past that cause anxiety. For example if your dog freaks out at the sight of a certain object such as an umbrella or tree branch it may have been hit or abused with that object in the past.
It is normal for dogs to experience anxiety. But if the issue causing the anxiety isn’t addressed and is causing ongoing anxiety it can lead to long term and damaging health issues.
You know your dog better than anyone else. You know its moods, habits and funny traits. When your dog is suffering from anxiety you will become aware by watching it’s behavior and reactions. Naturally as a pet parent you will want to make your dog feel calm and happy again.
Natural supplements for dogs are a healthy way to address anxiety in dogs. In many cases they will work wonders. If you find they aren’t effective consult with your veterinarian who will be able to give you professional advice on the next steps to take.