You’ve taken Lucky to the vet because you think he may have anxiety issues. The veterinarian carried out testing which ruled out thyroid or brain disease, and did a blood workup to see if poisoning was an issue. So, Lucky cleared all his testing, and your vet told you your dog has anxiety. Medication can be prescribed, but not every dog needs to be medicated. You may choose natural ways to help anxiety.
Your vet may recommend for Lucky, based on his fears and phobia and depending what triggers it, behavioral techniques that might work best. You may have to try several different ways until you find the one, or more that one, which will help Lucky control his anxiety.
What triggers anxiety?
There are different sources of stress that can bother your dog. Also, a dog can develop a phobia, just like, perhaps, you are afraid of crawling insects. To your dog, this phobia is as real to him as your phobia is to you. Some phobias could be:
- Being left alone
- Being confined
- Changes in routines or environment
- Objects or certain types of people
- Loud noises
Calming an anxious dog
If Lucky has an extreme separation and panic issue, he may need to be medicated. It depends on what is good for nerves and anxiety. You may feel that natural anxiety help for your dog is the best alternative. Plus, he may have to be hospitalized until medications he’s been prescribed become effective. This would be for his protection, so he doesn’t inflict self-injury to himself. You could care for him at home during this period, but you would need to be sure that there’s someone with him at all times. This means you might have to hire a dog sitter or arrange for doggy daycare.
Exercise is another alternative behavioral technique which may work for Lucky. When Lucky is exercised, it can accomplish two things to help with his anxiety. One, it produces the feel-good chemical serotonin which will relax him. Plus, it removes the tension and energy that can encourage anxiety. So, when going for a hike, playing fetch or going for a walk in the park, these activities can reduce nervous tension and separation anxiety.
Distraction is a way to calm a dog who is nervous when in certain situations. These situations could be something like gunfire, loud noises or even thunderstorms. One thing to try on Lucky is distracting him by practicing tricks or commands he already knows. Or, another great distraction is a puzzle ball filled with treats or any other toy which is food motivated. Give it to Lucky when you notice that’s he’s starting to become agitated. Then, he’ll learn to associate the things which make him anxious with a reward.
A newly popular solution for dog anxiety is the Thundershirt. This is a garment which is a tightly fitting and wraps around Lucky’s body. The continuous pressure is supposed to help calm Lucky’s nerves for issues like thunder, travel or loud noises. In Lucky’s case, this may be the best way to calm down anxiety. Some pet owners swear by it, and some say it doesn’t help their pet at all. Its effectiveness would depend on how and when it’s used, what Lucky needs it for and his personality type.
Other ways to calm a dog down
Giving Lucky a massage can help calm him down and relax him. To calm his nerves, use long, slow strokes. There’s a massage which is used on pets which uses circular movements of hands and fingers all over your pet’s body. What this does is waken cellular intelligence by activating the function of the cells which will relax Lucky.
Soothing music geared towards dogs can calm Lucky too. Simple sound is used selected, arranged and recorded for easeful auditory assimilation. Different types of music, one type is through Dog’s Ear, can help to relax Lucky through a situation such as travel anxiety, separation anxiety, and noises.
As you can see, there are other methods besides medication which you can use to calm Lucky’s anxiety.