Dogs are one of the most humanized animals on earth. To most dog owners, they are more than a pet. The majority of them treat their furballs as a part of their family. Why? The reason for this is simple – they are loyal, smart and intelligent. Oftentimes, pet dogs surprise their masters with their intelligence.
Most owners claim to know almost everything about the behavior of their furball. Yet, only a few of them understand and acknowledge that the latter also has emotions and feelings. While a dog wags its tail to express its happiness, it also shows signs of anxiety.
Is your dog showing such signs? If yes, it can be due to a variety of reasons. The immediate thing you should consider is calming it down. It may not be as easy as it sounds but it is not impossible.
Read on to know how you can help your best friend in coping with its anxiety.
Important Facts about the Anxious Behavior of a Dog
Though dogs can understand most of the things, they cannot speak. As a result, they tend to express themselves through actions and sounds. Certain displacement behaviors like barking on and on, chewing up various things, peeing and pooping in its living place or inside the house and inexplicable aggression towards others are all signs of dog anxiety.
A dog shows these behaviors to relieve its stress resulting from anxiety. Hence identifying the source of its anxiety is your best bet to calm down your anxious dog. You can begin by classifying the type of anxiety which has affected your dog.
Types of Anxiety
There can be many reasons behind the display of the anxious behavior of your dog; it may be the outcome of one of the following forms of anxiety in dogs:
- Dog separation anxiety: Separation refers to being alone. Most dogs get afraid or feel insecure when their owners or other family members leave them alone.
- Noise anxiety: Some sounds or unusual noises such as the ones linked to garbage trucks, thunderstorms, and fireworks can make a dog feel anxious.
- Confinement anxiety: This form of anxiety is the outcome of keeping a dog confined or restricted to limited space.
- Travel anxiety: Travelling by cars may be a great idea to humans but not to dogs. They are not used to seeing a den move constantly. To dogs, cars look like dens. Its movement can make a dog feel unsure, and hence anxious.
How to Calm an Anxious Dog
This is one of the most pertinent questions that dog owners ask, especially those who have an anxious pet dog. Here are certain steps that you can try out.
- Desensitize it: Your dog may show signs of nervousness or worry due to a particular sound or pattern. The best way to deal with such a dog is to train it on how to respond to situations involving the sound or pattern which is the source of its uneasiness. You can use the reward-a-dog method wherein you reward it for following your instructions. Assure your nervous dog by introducing it to its source of distress gradually during each training session. Also, consider keeping it short.
- Create a calm environment for your dog: Dogs loathe noisy and disturbing environments more than humans. Try keeping your dog in a calm environment for a few hours, and see how it works. This will bring about a change in your furball’s behavior if it is stressed due to a particular environment.
- Use calming equipment: Dog calming equipment is available in the market. By using it, you can help your dog with some specific form of stress.
- Take it to a vet: Consult a vet and follow their instructions. Give it medication if its stress is due to a disease or a medical condition.
If your dog is in a state of stress, it can do things that can irritate you. But you should think twice before disciplining it through punishment. Most dog experts or trainers would advise you against it, as it can aggravate the matter rather than helping you with it. Instead, consider the aforementioned tips to deal with your dog if it appears bothered for some reason.