“Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen.”– Orhan Pamuk
While there are many mental health benefits to inviting a dog into your life, it is worth noting that the psychological well-being of your pet is important too. Indeed, dogs can experience a range of emotional states including anxiety, which can be tough to deal with for their owners.
The good news is there are some strategies that you can use to help reduce their anxiety in certain situations. Keep reading to find out what they are.
One of the biggest sources of anxiety for your dog is when you are not with them. This is known as separation anxiety, and you can be sure that many pups will struggle with this once their owners have to go back to work post lock-down.
Ideally, the best remedy for separation anxiety is keeping your dog with you, but this may not always be possible. If this is the case for you then ensuring they have some company in a day either by getting a friend or a dog walker to pop in and fuss and walk them is the best best. It can also really help to build back up to longer periods away from your dog slowly, as they will habituate to it better.
Just like exercise is great for human mental health, it can also do your dog the power of good when it comes to anxiety. Indeed, there are two reasons that plenty of exercises can help here.
The first is that it can help turn off any excess energy that can so easily turn into anxiety. While the second is that all the positive endorphins that are released via exercise can help to calm and lift their mood.
Supplementing your dog’s diet is also helpful when it comes to reducing their anxiety. Indeed, you will find a range of products with this purpose in mind on the market.
Although, the hemp-based items offered by providers like Pet-Ness can be particularly useful. The reason being that they come in bacon flavor and treat varieties which means getting your dog to take them is easy and stress-free.
Providing them with a Safe Place
Now, you may think of the entirety of your home as perfectly safe, but your dog may not agree. After all, we have noisy appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines, and sometimes noisy family members too.
In fact, there is a range of things that can trigger anxiety in your dog around the home from sounds, to smells and even vibrations. With that in mind, making sure they have a safe space to which they can retreat is the best approach.
Usually, this is somewhere away from the general hustle and bustle of the home. A smaller contained space like a crate can work well here, and a soft and comfy bed is a must.
Also, a location where you can dim the lights, and make quiet while providing them with a restful space in which to calm down can work wonders.