How to calm an anxious dog and boost their immune systemUpdated: April 11, 2022
Anxiety is an unpleasant event of feeling extremely nervous and stressed out. And it looks like anxiety has taken its toll not only on us but also on our dogs.
As much as we get affected by it, anxiety isn't rare for our dogs. They can experience the same (or even worse!) as us humans and there's nothing harder than for a pet parent to watch their dog suffer from it.
Causes of anxiety
What causes anxiety in our dogs? It can probably be one or all of the following:
Genetic makeup. Some dog breeds, the ones that have high intelligence and high energy levels, are more prone to developing anxieties. These dog breeds include German Shepherds, Basset Hounds, Siberian Huskies, Cocker Spaniels, and Poodles to name a few.
Unpleasant past traumas. Fears that were developed in the past can be carried into the present by your dog. Past traumas from physical abuse, maltreatment, and abandonment can eventually develop into anxiety.
Lack of socialization. Dogs that are not well-socialized can be aggressive, fearful and can develop social anxiety towards humans and other dogs.
"Fears that were developed in the past can be carried into the present by your dog. Past traumas from physical abuse, maltreatment, and abandonment can eventually develop into anxiety."
Underlying health conditions. This cause for anxiety is illness-induced. The anxiety and fear your dog is experiencing are caused by an illness. Some diseases that cause anxiety in dogs are hypothyroidism, encephalitis, diabetes, vision and hearing loss.
Signs of canine anxiety
- Loss of interest in things he used to enjoy
- Excessive crying and barking
- Aggressiveness towards humans, other dogs, and other animals
- Inappropriate peeing and pooping
- Escape Behaviors
- Destructive Behaviors
- Trembling and panting
- A tucked-in tail
- Constantly biting and licking himself
Calming an anxious dog
Now that you know what to look for to identify if your dog has canine anxiety, here are what you can do to help him calm down.
Train. Teach your dog how to display good behavior on events that might trigger his anxiety like you leaving the house or being out of sight (separation anxiety). If your dog has had traumatic experiences before, avoid shouting or punishing him for this will only create more trauma. Instead, constantly give praises and treats whenever he's in a calm and relaxed behavior.
Exercise. When your dog exercises, his body naturally releases serotonin and endorphin - chemicals that can greatly set and improve your dog's mood and fight off stress.
Provide proper nutrition. Providing your dog a good, healthy diet is a perfect way to boost up his wellness. A healthy and balanced diet can improve your dog's mental wellness. You can add on antioxidants (like Vitamin A, C, E) to support the brain, reduces irritability & stress; Omega 3 supplement to act as an anti-inflammatory and calms down any inflammation happening in the brain; prebiotics and probiotics to support the brain's gut-brain axis; essential oils to calm dogs; calming treats for dogs and many others.
Offer calming aids. Calming aids are things that keep your dog busy and things that can relax him in an episode of an anxiety attack. It can be in the form of anxiety jackets, pheromone sprays, his favorite toy, his favorite treat, and even music and a gentle massage!
Calming and multi-vitamin supplements
Aside from the calming tips and tricks, one of the best ways to calm down a dog's stress and anxiety is by giving him calming supplements.
Calming supplements are supplements that reduce a dog's stress, anxiety, and fears and brings down aggressive, destructive and anti-social behavior. These supplements are meant to:
- Promote relaxation without drowsiness & soothes brain waves before adrenaline kicks in
- Consist of soothing qualities that calm the body & relieve tension during anxiety by triggering specific receptors to communicate between body systems
- Assist in stressful situations by helping the nervous system & brain function properly, & strengthening the immune system
- Produce serotonin, which is key in regulating responses to stress & anxiety.
- Helps control nerve impulses and provide a protective effect for dogs who struggle with seizures
Multivitamins also play a role in calming an anxious dog as these will boost the dog's immune system, support the urinary tract, prevent anemia in dogs, and it can:
- Promote healthy digestion & proper absorption of nutrients, helping with constipation, gas, & diarrhea
- Provide the nutrients & antioxidant support needed to boost or maintain a healthy immune system
- Improve blood circulation and helps fat & cholesterol process efficiently
- Help the body break down and digest nutrients properly
Anxiety, in whatever form it takes, changes the way your dog reacts and behaves on certain things. You are the best way for your dog to overcome his anxieties and be sure to take the lead.
"Aside from the calming tips and tricks, one of the best ways to calm down a dog's stress and anxiety is by giving him calming supplements."
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