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Discover These 5 Easy Steps To Relieve Dog Anxiety
For many owners it can be upsetting to realize that your dog is suffering from anxiety. But thankfully there are positive steps you can take to both relieve the anxiety and prevent the condition developing into a more serious disorder.
A big part of this is recognizing the ‘triggers’ and finding innovative ways to help your dog or puppy avoid anxiety-related problems before they happen.
So, let’s look at 5 simple steps all owners can take to relieve dog anxiety.
1. Physical and Mental Stimulation
Most owners would agree that their dogs are members of their family! And just like all people, dogs need a regular routine of physical and mental exercise to maintain their overall well-being. Or, they may risk turning into couch potatoes. A well-exercised dog, which has a nutritionally balanced diet, is much less likely to develop destructive behaviors. If problem behavior does develop, then you will know to look to other elements for clues to what may be the root of the cause.
2. Obedience Training
There are so many benefits to having your dog participate in some structured obedience training, that I will make this topic the subject of a separate article. For now though, lets just say it can be an essential tool for preventing and managing dog anxiety. Obedience training lays the foundation for a healthy trusting relationship between a dog and its owner. Structured classes are a great way to socialize your dog as they learn obedience and self-control under a range of situations.
The aim of obedience training as mentioned in point number two is to embed a habit of socialization. This in turn will reduce the likelihood of new events triggering anxieties and producing bad behavior. Some dogs will already possess a natural instinct for socialization, and French Bulldogs are generally known for their amiable natures. However, some dogs will need to be taught the skills. In the end, we all want to be able to introduce our dogs to new people, places and other animals without fearing an adverse response.
4. Getting Attuned
Lets face it, you and your dog are in a relationship. How well that relationship works will depend to a large degree on the level of understanding that you build between each other. Just as with humans, you need to be attuned to the non-verbal body language. What they are thinking will show in their eyes and stance. You need to develop this form of intuition if your dog has a tendency to aggressive outburst.
5. Avoiding Situations
Finally, try to avoid or prevent situations that may trigger your dog’s anxiety. If being around noisy children in a park makes him anxious, then choose a trail that avoids playgrounds. Most of the time, just implementing simple avoidance measures will make a great difference in behavior. Obviously, if avoidance measures are impractical, (eg: in built up urban areas) then you should use a leash or body harness to maintain control at all times.
Severe Dog Anxiety: Treatment Options
In severe anxiety situations it’s important to know what treatment options may be available to best treat your dog. First, you should always consult your veterinarian for a professional diagnosis of your dog’s health issues. If appropriate, your veterinarian can help you to develop a treatment plan that works for your circumstance.
Medications Options for Dogs
In some situations your veterinarian may recommend medications or natural therapies. Natural products that use pheromones and aromatherapy have been shown to reduce anxiety. Antidepressants are occasionally prescribed for dogs with anxiety, including fluoxetine and clomipramine. For predictable anxiety-producing events like thunderstorms or car rides, your veterinarian may also prescribe a medication such as benzodiazepine in addition to an antidepressant to help your dog deal with their stress.
Using CBD Oil for Dog Anxiety
In recent times, owners have reported some success in using CBD Oil to treat dog anxiety. CBD is a compound found in cannabis and hemp that has been found useful for treating a variety of different health conditions in humans. Some reports from dog owners claim that CBD oil can also be an effective medication in treating dog anxiety. This certainly appears worthy of more thorough investigation; although it must be pointed out that at present there is no scientific data to support these claims.
Again, if you’re considering using CBD oil as a treatment for dog anxiety, it’s best to consult first with your veterinarian.
For more information on the subject of dog anxiety, please check out our other article: Recognizing Causes and Symptoms of Dog Anxiety.
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