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How to treat dog anxiety?

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Posted on November 19 2018

Your dog's behavior has changed. He has become more sensitive when you move away from him, his pulse accelerates, he drools more than usual, barks or destroys your furniture? He is probably suffering from anxiety. It must be treated and understood from where it comes from.

Has your dog ever been anxious or is it new in his life? You have to identify the problem and fix it as quickly as possible. The stress invades the consciousness of your dog for various reasons. From the most futile to the deepest. It can be synonymous with traumatic past or dangerous news. We must fight against stress as a separate disease in your dog. Stress can make him react differently to an ordinary event.

 

Why does a dog stress?

There are several stressors for your dog. They all generate a psychological and bodily change . Your dog will feel vulnerable , perhaps assaulted , at least in danger. However, your dog is not necessarily anxious. During his life, he can experience many moments of stress without anxiety becoming a pure illness.

The latter is the addition of several stress who find all their cause in a past more or less distant from your dog. His education can be questioned. The way to address him too, to punish him. His life must be reviewed. Generally, stress factors are:

  • The changes of routine within the family, which cause a disruption in your dog daily. The latter does not understand and will begin to worry. The change of routine can also concern his diet .
  • The fear of separation . Your dog will not know how to manage your absences, the distance. He gradually loses his bearings.
  • Unusual noises like firecracker bangs, storm, gunshots.
  • The education with poor socialization . Once bigger, your dog may experience panic when seeing the world.
  • A feeling of insecurity .
  • trauma related to his childhood.
  • The gene may also play its influence.

Manifestations of stress in dogs

Stress causes multiple reactions in your dog. Whether physical or psychological, they must all be taken seriously. The list is not exhaustive, like humans, each dog has his own way of expressing his anxiety. 

  • Your dog shows a lack of hygiene or destructive behavior . He destroys your sofa, he eats your shoes, he scratches the floor ...
  • Your dog is hyperactive . He overreacts to what surrounds him. He is also inclined to do the 100 steps in your absence. He barks more frequently. The drooling is also a sign.
  • The heartbeat of your dog increases dramatically. The frequency of his gasps is rising.
  • He is subject to diarrhea or vomiting.
  • He constantly asks for your attention.
  • His internal clock is turned upside down . He may lack sleep, become bulimic or, conversely, anorexic.
  • There is often a dilation of his pupils.

How to manage your stress ?

As often, your dog needs stability in his daily life. So, you will have to bring back some order. For example, you can get more physical exercise , or take him on a walk more often. You need to take care of your dog to reduce stress.

Nevertheless, you must first drive your dog to his vet . The latter will be the best able to define the origin of the anxiety of your dog. If your dog is healthy , he will suspect more of a behavioral problem .

Your dog may be suffering from abandonment . In this case, it will be necessary to show him that you are absent and that this is normal. To do this, leave your home naturally and return by ignoring it as it makes you party. We must also avoid all the usual elements of departure that can be a source of stress for the dog (taking keys, put his coat in front of him ...) Gradually, he will integrate that your absence is normal and he can take advantage of you when it's time.

The veterinarian can refer you to a behavior specialist. Several exercises will be provided. The reward is one of the means used, as when educating your dog. You can also try to desensitizeyour dog. Like the human, it will be a question of confronting your dog with the object or thing of which he is afraid and which causes this anxiety. This allows your dog to adapt to this fear and overcome it. Do not hesitate to reward him and to do it in a progressive way, without rushing it, on pain of accentuating his anxiety.

Drug solutions

There are many medications that will help your dog feel better, less anxious, more available. Do not dissociate drugs from behavioral work . Only your vet can decide what suits him.

You can give your dog some Bach flowers, a few drops in his food, to soothe him. To administer massages with this oil also gives good results.

There are pheromone diffusers that will give your dog a sense of peace. At the moment of being scared or stressed, pheromones will send him a message of calm and he will be less subject to these anxiety attacks.

In summary

Your dog does not become anxious by chance. His stress is manifested by a sudden change in his life, in his daily life, by a change in his habits. It also comes from unusual noises, fear of abandonment. The demonstrations are diverse and varied. All must be consulted by your veterinarian , who will accompany you during the appropriate treatment to bring to your dog.

In any case, never leave the situation as it is . The older your dog gets, the harder it will be to cure his anxiety. You must fix the problem as soon as you identify it. It is about the well being of all.

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