Dogs develop fear and anxiety in response to different stimuli. They may be averse to loud noises (thunderstorms or fireworks), people, places or other dogs. Being left alone can trigger separation anxiety in some dogs.
Dog Anxiety Symptoms
When anxious, dogs respond in different ways. They may show one or more of the following anxiety symptoms:
aggression, trembling, salivation, defecation, urination, destruction, escape, panting, excess vocalization (barking, howling), hiding, pacing repeated yawning, licking, chewing, ears back or tail tucked.
Dog Anxiety Treatment
1. Behaviour Modification/Training
This primary treatment for separation anxiety is behaviour modification. Dogs can pick up cues that they associate with your departure. You want to desensitze your dog to these cues by practising the routine of putting on your shoes/jacket, taking your keys, and opening, closing and locking the door several times. Repeat these actions until your dog is no longer anxious to your getting ready to leave.
Then, practise being apart from your dog. Start with short absences and increase gradually until he gets used to your leaving. Keep your comings and goings low key.
Thundershirt is a pressure wrap that applies a gentle, constant pressure on a dog’s torso. Pressure has a calming effect on the nervous system. It relieves your dog’s anxiety and fear from noise, travel, crating and separation from owner. Thundershirt can also be used to reduce excitability, reactivity and hyperactivity while walking on leash, during group dog training sessions and when seeing visitors at home (unwanted jumping).
It can be helpful for noise phobias such as thunderstorms or fireworks, which are hard to treat with behaviour modification.
Thundershirt is available in various sizes and colours here.
3. Canna-Pet: Cannabinoid Nutrition For Anxiety
Canna-Pet is an all-organic hemp-based cannabidnoid (CBD) product for cats, dogs and horses.
It contains cannabinoid CBD, an ingredient that has anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and anti-anxiety effects. The 2016 published AHVMA report on Canna-Pet products conducted by Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, found that surveyed pet owners reported positive results of Canna-Pet products in their cats and dogs. 92.6% of ALL respondents favour Canna-Pet to SOME, MOST or ANY medications.
Canna-Pet is available in the forms of capsule, liquid and flavoured biscuits.
Learn more about Canna-Pet and how it can help your pet here.
4. Dog Appeasing Pheromone (DAP)
Female dogs secrete a natural form of dog appeasing pheromone within 3 -5 days after giving birth. This pheromone has calming effects on young and adult dogs that are under stress.
Dog Appeasing Pheromone (D.A.P.) is the synthetic version of the natural dog appeasing hormone. Scientific studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of D.A.P. in reducing or diminishing fear, anxiety and stress-related behaviours in dogs and puppies.
D.A.P. is available as diffuser and collar. D.A.P diffuser is a convenient plug-in device that releases D.A.P. to calm and soothe dogs in stressful situations, allowing them to relax. It is odourless, non toxic and do not cause side effects.
5. Calming Support Supplements
Herbal remedies, flower essences and dietary supplements are helpful for relieving anxiety and enhancing behaviour modification training in dogs.
Herbal remedy: Animals’ Essentials Tranquility Herbal Blend
Flower essence: Bach Rescue Remedy Flower Essences
Dietary supplement: Vetri-Science Composure Supplement Liquid