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How to Reduce Dog Anxiety?

What are the Reasons Due to Which Anxiety Stems in Dogs?

Anxiety can get defined as the feeling of dread, fear, and uneasiness. Any averagely intelligent lifeform can experience it. It stems as a reaction to tension, stress, and extreme pressure on the mental health of the person or animal that gets subjected to it. It implies that not just humans but also animals such as dogs can suffer from anxiety. The animal may remain in this anxious stage momentarily or for an extended period. 

Anxiety in dogs can stem from multiple causes. However, unlike humans, the reasons can get narrowed down to a simplified and summarized list. The most common sources of anxiety that a dog can experience consist of the following:

Fear

Anxiety due to fear or terror of something can lead a dog into a stage of distress, horror, and panic. This anxiety can stem from the presence and effects of loud and sudden noises that persist for a long time. Other causes can include the introduction of a new person or animal into their house or family. It can lead the dog to a condition of fright because it does not and cannot understand and accept the abrupt and unexpected addition into their daily living. 

Fear arising and stemming from unusual, colorful, and disturbing visual stimuli can launch dogs into a state of anxiety. It can even entail an umbrella or a curtain. In addition to that, the animal can get afraid and anxious in strange and new environments. It can be previous cases due to abuse and neglect. In other instances, it can get caused by specific situations. It can include multiple visits to the vet after a traumatic experience or seeing a glass piece after getting hurt by it.

Separation and Abandonment

Many animals suffer from separation anxiety. Dogs are no exception in this case. In such instances, the animal can get stressed out when they do not feel the presence of another comforting body like a family member. 

This concern of separation and abandonment can stem from past experiences and traumas of the same. In most cases, it arises when the dog gets left out on the streets or at home all alone for hours on end. It gives rise to a sense of insecurity when the animal has to stay without anyone else. 

Ageing

Like humans, the fear and apprehension of death can leave a dog anxious and worried. When exposed and left to it for a long time without any reassurance and treatment, the animal can go into a state of madness or develop Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS). The ailment gets characterized by a loss and reduction in memory, perception, learning abilities, and awareness. It leads to confusion, misunderstanding, tension, and anxiety. 

What are the Symptoms of Anxiety Witnessed in Dogs?

It is relatively effortless to discover and notice signs that a dog has developed anxiety. These indications also help determine the stage of the condition and treat it accordingly. 

A few symptoms of anxiety witnessed in dogs consist of the following:

  • An abrupt switch from sudden aggression and barking to whimpering and whining
  • Excreting and urinating anywhere in the house
  • Excessive panting, pacing, and restlessness
  • Uncontrolled drooling
  • The development of impulsive destructive tendencies
  • Appetite loss
  • Forgetfulness and repetitive behaviors

What are a Few Effective Ways to Reduce and Treat Dog Anxiety?

Without a doubt, the best way of reducing and treating a dog’s anxiety is by determining and eliminating the cause for it. In most cases, it is undemanding to find and pinpoint. 

A few helpful and productive ways and methods of reducing and treating dog anxiety entail the following:

Creating a Relaxing Environment

The most common and efficient way of curbing anxiety is by feeling reassured and safe in a relaxing and comforting environment. It is not necessary to build an entire room or quarter for the dog to do so. A calming dog bed does the job in most cases. Any place that the animal feels tranquil and protected helps in reducing the animal’s anxious state. Sometimes, the addition of toys or a playmate enhances the peaceful nature and effect of the environment. 

Increasing Physical Contact and Playtime

To reassure a dog that it will not get abandoned or left alone, increasing the duration of playtime with its owner helps significantly. It makes the animal feel loved and wanted, eliminating most of its worries and anxieties. An incremented number of physical touch or contact such as long sessions of petting and cuddling also aids in this. It can get owed to the findings that research has proven. It states that increased contact allows a creature to feel reassured and sheltered among close acquaintances. Even in the case of a dog, it makes the animal feel as if its owners and playmates would protect and love it at all times and unconditionally.   

Massaging

A massage is a suitable and effective way of relaxing and calming the mind. It, in turn, helps to reduce and eliminate the feelings of concern and anxiousness. It stands true for both humans and dogs as well. It is because anxiety can lead to the muscles becoming sore and tense. Hence, a massage serves as a therapeutic session, alleviating both the body and the mind. Generally, for dogs, long strokes from the neck and down the back help the most. It may even aid in determining the part of the body where the dog holds or stores its stress. The massager can then work on that particular area for better and desired results. 

Introducing Calming and Therapeutic Music

Similar to massage, particular types of music can prove soothing and relaxing to dogs. It can help block out the sudden, scary, and disturbing noises from the background and surroundings and alleviate the animal’s sensitivity to sounds. Research suggests that most dogs prefer listening to classical music to calm their minds. The tones and tunes of such melodies work the best in reducing and treating anxiety. 

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