We notice that Lucky seems to be nervous and anxious. We visit the vet, and he passes all the tests to rule out any illnesses. We could put him on anti-anxiety medication, but instead we’d like to find an alternative method to control his anxiety. So what other ways are there to manage Lucky’s anxiety besides medication?
Natural remedies for anxiety in dogs
Natural remedies to treat anxiety for your pet could be homeopathic, herbal or even essential oils. If you decide to use herbal remedies, below are some suggestions that can calm your pet down:
- Chamomile: Chamomile tea is excellent for relaxing and calming down, and it can reduce anxiety as well. It will calm nerves and induce sleep. We may give Lucky some chamomile tea (cooled) or soak his favorite treat in it. It is best to give chamomile before a stressful situation or even a trip to the vet.
- Skullcap: This herb is beneficial for dogs who are epileptic or suffer from nervous tension.
- Passion Flower: Some flavornoids have relaxing, and anti-anxiety effects, and passionflower has these flavornoids. It also works great if your dog has insomnia because of anxiety.
- Oat: If you add cooked oatmeal to your dog’s food, it’s a nerve-calming herb as well as nutritious.
- Lemon Balm: For excitability and anxiety in your pet, this is a herb which is used as a sedative.
- Valerian: For over-excitability, anxiety and to reduce tension, use Valerian.
- Echinacea: With the immune strengthening properties of Echinacea, if used in moderation, your dog’s immune system which is suffering from stress will get a much-needed boost.
Sometimes something in a dog’s environment can trigger anxiety issues. Your dog may not be over-anxious, but just experiencing a reasonable amount of anxiety for the situation its in. For example, if another new pet is brought home, this could upset the home’s balance, in turn, upsetting your pet. If you give lots of attention, and there isn’t any conflict between the two dogs, the anxiety should pass with time.
Using essential oils
There are several essential oils which can have a calming effect on dogs. Some of these oils are neroli, marjoram, rose, lavender, sweet orange, and vanilla. Take a few drops of oil and dilute it with about 2 tbsp. of olive oil. Then take it and apply it to the neck and chest and see if it relieves anxiety levels. These oils can also be mixed to make different blends until you find the perfect match which works for your dog.
Food could be the cause
If you can pronounce an ingredient, then it should be good for your dog to eat. Ingredients like turkey, beef, and chicken which don’t have any by-products or synthetic preservatives. By-products and artificial preservatives can be highly toxic. This can cause the symptoms of anxiety to intensify and put your dog at risk for other potential diseases. These diseases could include skin problems or cancer.
Your stress levels
Because your dog will be sensitive to your moods and is a pack animal, your moods will affect them. If you are feeling stressed out and reacting accordingly, your pet will too. So, what you need to do is to relax. Go for a long walk, just the two of you. Take a warm bath, use some of the essential oils that you use on your pet. When you calm down, then most likely the dog will too. Your reactions to a situation and anxiety level will affect their anxiety levels. So, when, you don’t feel stressed and are relaxed, then most likely, your dog will become less anxious and will relax.
As you can see, there are other methods besides medication which you can use to help lessen the anxiety. However, if none of these methods work, then talk to your vet and see if medicine is something which should be recommended.