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Caring For An Anxious Dog

September 1, 2023

Did you know that our canine companions can suffer from anxiety, just as people can? Anxiety can affect any dog, regardless of breed, and at any point in their lives. A local Springville, UT veterinarian discusses caring for a nervous pooch below.

Signs Of Anxiety In Dogs

Fido can’t tell you if he’s feeling nervous about something, so it’s important to watch for warning signs. These may vary from pup to pup. Some of these include restlessness, soiling inappropriately, drooling, pacing, barking, whining, hiding, and destructive behaviors, such as digging and chewing. Some dogs will exhibit fearful behaviors, such as licking the lips or tucking their tails, while others may become aggressive. 

Soothing Anxiety In Dogs

There are things you can do to help your canine buddy feel more comfortable. First and foremost? Make sure your furry pal has lots of toys, and is getting enough exercise and stimulation. That will help in a few ways. For one, it will burn off some of that nervous energy. Just like people, dogs tend to be calmer when they’re a little tired. Play and exercise also gives Fido a suitable outlet for any doggy angst he is feeling. It can also help him feel more confident. You can also look into things like calming coats, massage, and even aromatherapy. Even playing soothing music for your pup may help! Ask your vet for specific advice.

Will My Anxious Dog Get Better?

With time, training, love, and patience, many dogs can and do overcome their anxiety. First, you’ll have to figure out what is causing Fido’s stress. If it’s separation anxiety, then the focus would be on helping your furry bff stay occupied and out of trouble when you’re out. For anxiety that is related to specific stimuli, such as thunderstorms, desensitization training, such as playing a storm sound CD, may help.

Does My Anxious Dog Need Medication?

There are medications available for severe anxiety. However, you should never give your canine pal any medicine unless your vet recommends it. Many of our medications are toxic to Fido! The biggest thing is to treat the root cause of that anxiety. In many cases, behavioral training can make a huge difference. For short-term solutions, such as an approaching storm. Your pooch may also benefit from pet-calming products, such as pheromones. Consult your vet or a pet behaviorist. 

Do you have questions about caring for an anxious dog? Contact us, your Springville, UT pet hospital, today!

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