Rocky’s Viewpoint

Rockys Viewpoint

A blog for people who treat their dogs better than family

Ways to Help Your Anxious Dog

Anxiety in their dogs is a common problem many dog owners face. This time of year is particularly bad for dogs who have noise phobias. We also deal with it regularly, especially in a boarding situation. In fact, we just had an older dog stay with us who was so anxious during her entire stay that we basically held her for a week. This sweet dog had just been adopted and I’m sure she thought she was being dumped again. We truly felt sorry for her and did whatever we could to help her.

What is anxiety?shy fearful dog

By definition, anxiety is the anticipation of a future danger, either real or imagined, that results in the body’s normal reaction to fear. The normal reaction to fear is carried out by the autonomic nervous system, and prepares the body for flight, fight or freeze. The symptoms of anxiety and fear are similar and include:

What causes anxiety?

There are many reasons why dogs develop or have anxieties. Some of these are

If your dog develops anxieties, the first thing to do is take him to your veterinarian for a thorough checkup, so you can rule out any medical reason for the anxiety. When you’re looking for possible treatments, it’s important to understand what’s causing the anxiety. Treatments for separation anxiety will likely not work for a dog with thunderstorm anxiety.

How can you help your dog?comforting anxious dog

For severe cases, medication prescribed by your veterinarian is often the only solution. In milder cases, there are a number of options that may help with anxiety. Here are some suggestions.

Of course, medication is an option but in my opinion should be a last resort. Find a qualified trainer or behaviorist to help you help your dog overcome his anxieties. Your dog may never completely be anxiety-free but the right solution can go a long way. If one idea doesn’t work, try another, until you find something that does. Your dog is worth it!