Is your furry bundle of joy hyper or anxious? The reason may not be apparent and can be a major concern for you as the parent. Seeing your dog experience anxiety is an upsetting experience. Take heart pet parents, having a nervous pet is not unusual and it is something that you as their parent, can help them address.
Below find several methods for supporting your anxious pup and promoting a happy, healthy life (and maybe your life will be a little calmer too!).
How to Calm your Hyper or Anxious Dog
Identify Potential Causes
Dogs can get nervous for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, an ordinarily calm dog will experience moments of hyperactivity. There are a few common reasons for dogs to become nervous, and pet parents must understand them so they can effectively remedy the problems and have the perfect date night with their dogs. Some dogs experience behavioral nervousness, while others have situational nervousness. Identifying what is the cause is crucial to helping your dog address their anxiety.
Some of the most common causes of nervousness in dogs include:
- Environmental changes such as weather changes, thunderstorms, or moving to a new home
- Loud noises or strange sounds such as fireworks and vacuum cleaners
- Separation anxiety when the pet parents leave them alone
- Travel anxiety before, during, and after a trip
What are the Symptoms of Dog Nervousness?
Knowing the common symptoms of a nervous dog helps you figure out if your dog is experiencing stress or not. Visit a trusted vet if the anxiety is extreme. Severe anxiety makes it difficult to function normally. The veterinarian will go over your pet’s complete medical history and ask questions about how long the symptoms have been manifesting. Vets work with you to figure out the trigger and how to prevent them from affecting your dog again.
The symptoms include:
- Defecating or urinating around the house
- Destructive behavior
- Excessive pacing and restlessness
Tips on Helping Your Nervous Dog
Engaging your pet’s brain will help him focus on the things they know, instead of the unknown that is scaring him. It is an opportune time to practice tricks you taught the dog and offer rewards for the effort. Reward your dog for simple commands like shake, stand, roll over, and any other tricks they seem to enjoy. Distract a highly food-motivated dog using puzzle toys such as a tug jug, or even one of these Kong recipes. Distraction helps your dog associate frightening occurrences with high-value rewards, turning these events from scary to tolerable.
Music is not only calming to humans. Many dog parents leave the radio or television on when they leave the house to help comfort their dogs. However, certain music genres are proven to have a more soothing effect on anxious or hyper dogs than others. For example, classical music seems to have a significant calming effect, while metal music seems to agitate dogs. If you plan on leaving music on for a dog with separation anxiety, play it when you are home to prevent your dog from associating it with you leaving.
Music is beneficial in a variety of situations, including:
- When you first bring home a new dog or puppy
- When the dog has to spend some time in a crate, puppy zone, or in its safe space
- During fireworks or thunderstorms
- While riding in the car to reduce travel anxiety
CBD for dogs
Another natural way to manage a nervous dog is CBD. It is beneficial for dogs of all ages. Anecdotal reports from pet parents claim that CBD oil supports managing your pet’s stress. CBD oil for dogs is a natural product extracted from hemp. Hemp oil for dogs contains very small amounts of THC, so your dog will not get high from consuming it. It is recommended to consult with your veterinarian before considering using CBD oil as a management tool. Your vet can help you understand the different products available and how they could be beneficial for your pet’s stress and overall health.
When you start looking into the perfect CBD oil from hemp supplement for your dog, you will notice it’s available in various forms. The most popular are:
- Oil tinctures – These are small glass bottles containing CBD oil and a dropper. Use the dropper for easy usage measurements.
- Capsules – They come pre-filled with a use of CBD oil to ensure you are giving your dog the correct amount every time.
- Infused Edibites and soft chews – Are easy to swallow snacks for your dog. They are available in various flavor combinations, so your pet cannot tell the difference between supplements and its favorite treat.
- Topicals – They are applied directly on your dog’s skin for immediate relief to a specific area.
A Relaxing Massage
Just about everyone enjoys a good massage, and the same applies to your pet. Anxiety leads to tense muscles, and a massage can help ease this tension. Start by making slow, long strokes to soothe the nerves. Plus, studies show that petting your cat or dog also helps you calm your nerves – a win-win solution for all!
Just like exercise is an excellent stress reliever for humans, it also is for your dog. Exercising stimulates serotonin production, a feel-good chemical. It also helps rid of pent-up tension and energy. A hike, a long game of fetch, running beside you as you bike, and other favorite physical activities are critical to reducing issues like anxiety and nervousness.
The Bottom Line
Your dog experiences periods of anxiety. While not all dogs will experience a diagnosable anxiety disorder, you must know the causes, symptoms, and management options. Understanding these critical components can help you know the best way to help your furry family friend during anxiety-inducing situations.
If you are not sure which Pet Releaf product can help promote calmness and relaxation, check out our Product Finder tool for the best recommendations based on your pet’s health needs!