Plenty of things can make our canine friends anxious: loud noises like thunder, a stranger in the house, other pets, being away from their owner (separation anxiety), injury, or illness. The list goes on and on.
For people with anxiety, there are many natural options to help us feel better. It turns out that some dogs can also benefit from these anxiety aids.
Let’s take a closer look at some natural alternatives.
Exercise and Stimulation
Dogs who don’t get the proper amount of exercise every day can start to act out in undesirable ways, such as scratching, chewing, or getting aggressive. Your dog must have an outlet to release his or her pent-up energy — playing and exercising is that outlet.
Make sure your dog is getting the right amount of physical activity every day. Keeping Fido at a proper weight can also be extremely effective for helping your dog stay calm. Talk to your vet about creating an exercise plan for your dog.
Did you know that massage can help keep your dog calm? Many of the benefits that massage therapy offers to humans also apply to our canine friends. Massage is now widely accepted as a legitimate treatment within veterinary medicine. It can help a dog’s muscles relax, reduce tension throughout the body, and increase blood flow, among other benefits.
It sounds simple, but when it comes to situational anxiety, sometimes all it takes is distracting your dog until the situation is over. For instance, a dog with a fear of thunderstorms can be distracted with play or training during the storm. Ask your vet how to get started on this technique with your dog.
You may also consider giving your dog a natural remedy as a way to help calm anxiety. Hemp chews are a good example of this. To be clear, hemp oil is not a psychoactive substance, and the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has deemed it for safe use in animals. You can also look for remedies with naturally calming ingredients, such as organic chamomile and valerian root.
For many pet owners, combining two or more of these methods can work effectively to calm a dog’s anxiety. For instance, making sure your dog gets enough exercise and slipping her a calming hemp soft chew before a thunderstorm might work to keep Bella calm until the bad weather has passed.Ask your veterinarian about natural herbal remedies, massage, and exercise to help soothe your pet and improve their overall quality of life. If these approaches don’t work, your vet may recommend something else.