If you have a nervous dog, that’s not just their personality – that’s a condition that may be rooted in medical or environmental problems. Here are a few tips for how to calm an anxious dog.
While some dog breeds tend to be slightly more prone to nervous behavior than others, having a dog that is persistently anxious is not normal. This anxiety could be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Loud noises or unfamiliar activity in the home
- Previous or continuing abuse
- Medical issues
- Poor relationship with other pets
- Being left alone for long stretches of time
The above factors may not be entirely correctable – if you have adopted a dog that has experienced persistent abuse, you may have to make some behavioral allowances and build an environment where they feel comfortable. However, if your dog seems prone to anxiety, there are a few things you can do to give your pup some relief.
- Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise. If your dog is restless, taking them out for a long walk can help release their energy and make them calmer.
- Adopt a healthy diet. Your dog’s health and emotional well-being starts with a nutritious diet. Some of my favorite dog food brands include Pedigree, Nutrish, and Zignature. DCM and certain obesity-related medical conditions can contribute to some behavior and mood concerns.
- Address any potential stressors. Certain dog breeds can’t tolerate the rambunctious behavior and play of small children. If you have either pets or children whose behaviors cause your dog to feel anxious and stressed, make sure your kids know how to treat the dog with compassion. If there is another pet your anxious dog doesn’t get along with, use the guidance of a professional trainer to help them to co-exist happily. Ultimately, you are the pack leader, and once they respect you, they will be compelled to behave.
Getting your anxious dog a regular checkup at the vet is essential in ensuring there aren’t underlying medical problems causing feelings of stress. Ultimately, giving your dog lots of time and affection should help them feel calm and content.
I’m a blogger, dog parent, and avid Instagrammer. My hobbies include taking pictures of my two shelter girls in their “Game of Thrones” costumes, and being thankful that they’re not capable of feeling embarrassment.
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