4 Tips For Helping Your Dog Deal With Anxiety Issues

Anxiety is a part of life for thousands of dogs. Some animals have been abused, some have little or no life experience beyond the confines of their own home, and still others suffer from a nervous personality that causes them to respond to anything unfamiliar with fear. Even nervous dogs need regular care from veterinarians and groomers. With a little work, you can help turn these potentially panic-inducing events into a relaxed and fun experience for both you and your dog.

Explore anxiety-inducing places at leisure

Dogs are often afraid of the vet’s office, and it’s no wonder – they come into a world full of strange smells and people, they have contact forced on them, and then leave. They never get a chance to process the chaos, and rarely get to know their veterinarian or the vet’s support staff very well.

One of the best ways to reduce your dog’s anxiety in the vet’s, groomer’s, or other similar place is to bring them in when they don’t have an appointment. Take some time to absorb the sights and smells of the waiting room, greet the staff, and just let your dog observe. When the dog relaxes, reward him or her with a tasty treat and warm praise.

Try dog-friendly calming products

Aromatherapy and mild sedatives work on humans with anxiety issues all the time, but you may not have considered them for your pet. Calming products often come in the form of a treat or tasty chewable, and contain such potentially relaxing ingredients as L-theanine, colostrum, and L-tryptophan. Note that you should never use anxiety reducers that are formulated for humans, and always discuss the ingredients, dosage, and use frequency with your vet.

Bring essential care closer to home

If your dog is just too worried about going out to a vet or a groomer, you can bring the care to your dog. A mobile pet grooming service like Soapy Dogs will come right to your door. Mobile vets can handle basic checkups, vaccinations, and other routine care without the need for an office. Some vets will also do house calls; if you’re already acquainted with a great vet, discuss any available options for home care. Make sure that your mobile pet groomer or vet is aware of your dog’s anxiety issues so they can plan accordingly, and always let them know if there’s a history of fear biting.

Get out in the world to play

To defeat anxiety once and for all, there’s nothing quite like more exposure to the world. Get out on walks to places you don’t know, wander in or near crowds, and otherwise stimulate your dog with new experiences. Watch body language closely for any sign that your dog is uncomfortable, and back off whenever it starts getting overwhelming for the dog. Never push your dog in an uncomfortable situation, and only give treats when the dog is relaxed to reward the appropriate behavior.

Anxiety is a big issue in the canine world, just as it is in the human world. Your dog may or may not be able to completely get rid of it, but giving your dog time and patience may help reduce a lot of the stress that comes from leaving the house.