Treating Dog Anxiety
It can be heartbreaking watching a pet suffer from anxiety. Not only is it stressful for you as the dog’s owner to deal with his or her unruly behavior, but anxiety can negatively impact your dog’s health. Additionally, anxious dogs are dangerous because their fear can make them react to stimuli in ways that result in injury to themselves, other animals, or humans. Helping your dog overcome his or her anxiety, therefore, is essential to the health and safety of your whole family. Here are a few ideas for treating dog anxiety.
Many of the medications used to treat anxiety in humans are also used to treat anxiety in dogs. The main types of medications prescribed to treat dog anxiety are benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax), tricyclic antidepressants (Clomicalm, Elavil), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (Anipryl), and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (Bespar). While these medications can be effective at reducing or eliminating your pet’s anxiety, they can cause side effects like increased appetite and insomnia. Still, if you have not had any luck with other treatment options, then talk to the vet about dog anxiety medications.
Dog Anxiety Products
There are several products on the market aimed at alleviating anxiety in dogs. One of the newest ones is the Thundershirt, which is a special vest that you put on your dog whenever he or she feels anxious or scared. The vest applies a constant but gentle pressure on the dog’s body that has a soothing affect on him or her. Other products that help calm dogs include special collars that have been sprayed with pheromones that dogs find comforting, pet supplements that contain natural calm-inducing ingredients like chamomile, and tranquilizing sprays.
Most dog experts agree that behavioral modification is an effective way to treat dog anxiety. Dog training is a long-term solution that can be implemented in several ways including gradually increasing your dog’s tolerance to the stimuli that causes him or her to be anxious and changing how your dog reacts to what is happening in his or her environment. For example, your dog may become anxious when he sees you preparing to leave the home because he thinks you’re not coming back.
You can reduce his anxiety by working with him to view your departure as no big deal because you will return. The best treatment for your dog’s anxiety should be based on his or her personality and individual needs. Carefully consider all of the options available and choose the one that best fits your particular situation. If you’re not sure what to do, seek assistance from a dog expert.