Natural Pet Wellness: How Can You Calm Your Anxious Dog?

May 05, 2020

Dogs form strong bonds with their pet owners and often forge a type of wordless communication. If you are a pet parent, you know when your dog is sad, relaxed, happy, or bored. But have you ever considered that he might also be stressed? 

What Is Dog Anxiety?

Dog anxiety is common, and it affects a pet’s psyche. It’s best to first figure out the source of stress. Sometimes, stress could be related to noise, and sometimes it happens because of fear. Behavioral anxiety is an ongoing process, but being able to pinpoint the cause can help in reducing it. 

Separation anxiety is a type of behavioral anxiety that is found in dogs when they start fearing that they will be forever separated from you. Sometimes, trauma and abuse also cause behavioral anxiety. Situational anxiety is easier to handle since it is directly related to a circumstance your dog is experiencing. For example, it can be caused by thunderstorms, fireworks, drives, or visits to the vet. Once you know what causes it, there are natural products and methods you can use to help. 

What Are the Symptoms of Anxiety in Dogs?

If your dog exhibits any of the following signs, he might have anxiety:

  • Destroying or chewing things even as an adult
  • Barking continuously
  • Licking excessively and pacing restlessly
  • Being aggressive
  • Refusing to eat
  • Trembling, shaking, or excessive panting

When you approach a vet, they might prescribe your dog over-the-counter medications. Since most of them have side effects, it’s often better to try and resolve the issue with natural remedies.

Physical and Mental Exercise

Make it a routine to take your dog out for regular walks. Allowing your dog to play in the park or run around in the backyard also helps reduce stress and get beneficial physical activity. Once he is tired, he will rest and sleep more easily. Exercises enable dogs to vent their stored energy, and this leads to a reduction in stress levels.

Mental stimulation also contributes to combating anxiety. Try feeding your pup from a puzzle bowl or teaching your dog new tricks. Anything that is challenging will aid in curbing stress.

Natural Herbs

Natural, side-effect-free herbs like chamomile, valerian, and St. John’s Wort have been used effectively to curbing anxiety. You can mix small amounts of those herbs into your dog’s food. Homeopathic remedies are also effective and safe. 

Essential oils such as lavender and violet leaf are perfect for calming the nerves. However, essential oils should always be diluted with a diffuser and administered externally. Finally, pet hemp oil has been proven to have calming effects, and it helps in reducing stress.

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The author writes about animal health and regularly advocates the use of natural pet products, including organic, hemp-derived dog products.