If you think that your dog may be suffering from anxiety, it is important to look for signs in their behaviour. If they bark or howl when no one is home, pant or pace a lot, shiver or shake, hide in corners and under furniture, or destroy furniture like your chesterfield, they likely have anxiety.
It is important to seek professional help from your V.E.T. to improve their quality of life. They can determine if their anxiety-behaviour is due to medical factors, but can also recommend ways to lower their stress. You can also see a pet behaviour counsellor for advice, to train them in ways that can reduce anxiety when they are facing their triggers. Here are three common ideas that V.E.T.s and pet behaviour counsellors recommend for reducing anxiety in dogs.
Anxiety wraps uses a similar principle as is used on humans. When applying gentle but firm and consistent pressure to the torso, it can have a calming effect. It’s similar to how infants feel calmer when swaddled in blankets, or weighted blankets help people calm down when trying to sleep. ThunderShirt is the most well-known anxiety vest for pets that you can find. You can get them for dogs and cats in different sizes. When worn properly, in the right size, these wraps distribute pressure along the back and torso of your pet like a constant hug. This pressure releases endorphin hormones, which has a calming and happy effect.
You can use noise to distract your pet from their source of anxiety. This is more effective for anxiety caused by sudden loud noises, like thunder or fireworks, or when you’re watching a game of footy and suddenly cheer or cry out loud in front of them. Noise distraction can also be used to distract them from separation anxiety when you leave for work for the day.
It either drowns out the sound causing their anxiety or just gives them something else more calming that they can focus on instead. You can do something as simple as playing music or sounds that are pleasing to animals, like birds chirping or running water, or you can get special sound devices that use white noise machines to drown out other external sounds.
The sound frequencies emitted by white noise machines are specifically made to drown out other noise, including fireworks and thunder. They are even more effective if you have them somewhere more insulated from other noise, like an enclosed crate or bedroom.
CBD Treats and Supplements
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a health supplement that is becoming increasingly popular, both for humans and pets. It’s relatively new, so while research has confirmed that CBD can help relieve anxiety, it isn’t fully clear how it achieves this, and there is even less research on how it works on animals.
Despite this, CBD is a safe supplement to take for pets. It has a relatively low risk of side effects, and the side effects are minor. There is added risk if you have CBD that includes THC, which can be toxic to animals, so make sure you get good quality CBD treats from places like Joy Organics that are made specifically for pets. You can also look into other supplements, like calming treats, which may be available at your local Tesco in the same aisle with pet food.
With these three tips, you have new ways to help your anxious pet. The good thing about them is that you can try them individually, or use them all together. If you have an extremely anxious pet, you may find that putting them in a thunder shirt, giving them a CBD treat, and keeping them in an enclosed bedroom with a white noise machine running can have dramatic results.