Veterinarian approved products to calm anxious dogs
If your four-legged friend is more fearful than friendly, you may already know all about dog anxiety. While it may sound like some sort of trend from the TikTok era, Ivana Crneca Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Tierärzte.orgconfirms that dog fear is real and growing.
“Anxiety problems in dogs are common,” Crnec said in an email.
Living through pandemic quarantine and isolation had a similar impact on dogs’ anxiety and social skills as it does in humans,” Crnec said. Since 2020 there has been an increase in dogs experiencing separation anxiety from their owners and fear of new people and strangers, she noted.
Danielle Bernala veterinarian with pet care company Wellness pet food, agreed that it is common for dogs to be afraid. “There are specific triggers that dogs experience that can affect their condition and a variety of factors, such as genetics, experiences, upbringing, training, and changes to routines or new environments,” Bernal said via email.
There are behavioral cues that can tell if your dog is anxious, he said Carling Matejkaa doctor of veterinary medicine and spokesman for a pet food company solid gold. This may include your pup pacing, shaking, panting, whimpering, excessive licking, yawning, hiding, or avoiding eye contact. They may also include destructive behaviors such as chewing or scratching, or accidents around the home, even when physically trained.
“An anxious dog may show physical features such as dilated pupils, a tucked tail, or a lowered posture. They may also show signs of aggression or fear, like growling or cowering,” Matejka said in an email.
Experts agreed that it’s important to pay attention to these clues and take action as soon as you see them. “Early intervention can help prevent the development of more serious behavioral problems,” Matejka said.
While there are many online options for soothing chews and supplements, the experts recommend letting your veterinarian prescribe and/or recommend the right medication for your dog. If your pup’s anxiety is really strong, they also recommend working with a trainer or a canine behaviorist to give your furry friend extra attention.
Aside from working with experts, veterinarians shared their favorite products to create a calming space for your dog at home and overcome their anxiety.
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Comfortable blankets or sheets that are all theirs
Part of a puppy’s restful environment is having bedding or blankets that they own that they can drool on or otherwise get dirty on, Matejka says. If you’re feeling attached to your handmade blankets or don’t want your pup using certain textiles, you may want to get them a puppy blanket of their own, like this one, which is waterproof and has self-heating properties.
An Adaptil diffuser that releases pheromones
Matejka and Crnec recommended setting up an Adaptil diffuser to release soothing pheromones that mimic a dog mom’s grooming pheromones. Refills last up to 6 months each and cover up to 700 square feet.
A dog cam to see how they behave when you’re not around
If you’re interested in how your pup is doing at home alone or if you want to monitor their behavior during the day, Crnec recommends setting up a dog cam and watching the stream regularly to see what your pup is up to. This way you can see where they like to spend time in your house, what toys they play with, and how best to organize their space when you’re not home.
A way to keep track of a sustainable walking and feeding routine
In terms of maintaining anxiety on a daily basis, Bernal and Matejka recommend creating a predictable schedule for your pup to feed, walk, and play with your pup at around the same time each day. Keeping your pup on a daily routine can help reduce overall stress and keep their anxiety levels down during really difficult moments. If your family loves a picture, you could benefit from a sign in a common area where you can all see if the dog has been fed or walked.