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Helping Dogs Overcome Anxiety

Some dogs are born with anxiety, and others might develop anxiety over time in response to changes in their environment or interactions with other pets or animals. If you recognize warning signs of stress or anxiety in your dog, your veterinarian can help you get to the bottom of it. You may need to make changes to your environment, spend more time with your dog, and consider medication or alternative therapies. Here are some tips for helping your dog overcome anxiety.

Recognizing Symptoms of Anxiety

First, you need to recognize symptoms of anxiety in your dog:

●  Destructive behavior like digging, chewing, scratching, and urinating or defecating where he isn’t supposed to.

●  Howling, barking, growling, and whining.

●  Excessive shedding.

●  Repeatedly yawning and licking his lips.

●  Licking his paws or genitals obsessively.

●  Hiding or cowering in fear.

●  Excessive panting and drooling.

●  Overeating or avoiding food or water.

Creating a More Calming Environment

Some dogs get anxious due to changes in their environment. You can help your dog relax and regain his composure by giving him a safe place to retreat to when he is stressed out. Create a hideaway for him under the bed, in a dark closet, or in a spare bedroom or bathroom. Place his bed and some comforting toys in the area and let him go there on his own if he gets anxious or overwhelmed–don’t force him to use the space if he doesn’t want to be there.

Considering Alternative Therapies

Your veterinarian might suggest alternative therapies to manage your dog’s anxiety. This might include calming aids like a thunder vest or chew toys, or behavioral modification therapies and obedience training. If nothing else works, your veterinarian might suggest supplements or CBD oil. CBD oil often has a calming effect on dogs. As a last resort, your veterinarian might recommend prescription anti-anxiety medication.

Make an appointment with your veterinarian if you notice symptoms of anxiety in your dog. Your veterinarian can help you find the underlying cause and determine the best solution.