Dogs can become stressed for many different reasons, and it’s up to us, their loyal owners, to try and find the cause of our canine’s distress, and hopefully, solve the reason. Anxiety is very common in dogs and can be caused by many things, we have to play the detective and get to the root cause. Once we figure that out, we need to know how to relieve stress in dogs.
Your dog will show anxiety in many different ways including barking, which can be constant, destroying everything in sight, excessive grooming and licking, toileting in unusual places, and just generally acting different towards you and others in your home. Not only are you frustrated with these behaviors, but you'll also feel badly for your dog.
Some dogs are just generally anxious animals that need a little more help from us. Sticking with a routine can be a great benefit to pets like these. If you have a dog that’s anxious, there are many things you can do to try and ease or potentially solve the issue altogether.
These methods have worked really well for many dog owners, and now I'm going to share them with you. Hopefully these ways of how to relieve stress in dogs will help calm your pup and leave you both happier and healthier.
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7 Ideas on How To Relieve Stress in Dogs
1. Exercise your dog
If you've been wanting to learn how to relieve stress in dogs, exercise is the very best way. It's great for your dog, and wonderful for your overall health and well-being too! Dogs love exercise just like we do, and we all know that it relieves our stress.
Did you know that exercise can relieve stress in our dogs too? Well yes, it absolutely can! Exercise is great for a dog that is stressed.
Exercise will stimulate the production of serotonin, which is the feel good chemical that is released when we exercise or are happy. It works the same for our dogs too. By exercising your dog more, you will be helping him to release any stress that may have been built up inside. There are many ways you can exercise with your dog including extra walks, a quick run or a game of fetch.
2. Try and distract your dog
Dogs can become stressed for many different reasons and many are stressed at certain situations. For instance your dog may become stressed if he hears fireworks or maybe even thunder, any loud noise can cause your dog much distress. If this is the case with your Fido, then distraction really does work wonders.
All you have to do is take your dog’s mind off the noise. You can do this by practicing tricks that your dog already knows, or by rewarding him if he carries out the trick successfully.
As your dog is concentrating on the task, and the reward that’s coming, he isn’t worrying about the noise as much.
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Puzzle toys are perfect for distracting your dog in stressful situations and these can include toys like treat balls or Kong toys. Any distraction that involves your dog having to concentrate on something else will work. When there is a reward at the end of the task, your dog won’t be as frightened in stressful situations.
He may still not like the situation much, but at least a reward will make it much more tolerable.
Thundershirts are perfect for a stressed or anxious dog. A Thundershirt is a close fitting garment that you have to wrap around your dog. You may be wondering what this product does. Well, a Thundershirt has been designed so that your dog feels continuous pressure.
This feeling of pressure will help to calm down your dog’s nerves. As the name suggests this is the perfect choice for loud noises that can cause dogs much distress. A Thundershirt can also be used for travelling, if this is the cause of your dog’s stress.
4. Massage your dog
When learning how to relieve stress in dogs, we can't forget about canine massage. Dogs love having a massage and it really helps to calm them down and relax. Massage your dog using long, slow strokes as this will work to help soothe his nerves. You can also use circular movements and work your way all around your dog’s body.
5. Use Pheromones
Dog Appeasing Pheromones or DAP, really do help to calm down a stressed out dog. Scents work wonders for canines and will help to calm your dog down. DAP has become a very popular option and is a synthetic chemical.
Pheromones are produced by lactating female dogs and help with the bonding process once the mother has given birth. It helps to keep her puppies calm and content. If you have a stressed out puppy at home or even an adult dog, give it a try. It does work, and you will have a happy and calm dog again in no time.
You can purchase this synthetic chemical and use it as a plug in diffuser. It will release the scent every so often, which your dog will be able to smell. They roughly last for a month.
Don’t worry though, humans cannot smell it, so you won't notice anything. Your dog will easily be able to sniff out the comforting scent throughout the house, and your guests won't even know there is anything extra in the air.
We love music and our dogs do too. Some owners leave music on for their dogs while they are out, or are at work for the day. Leaving the television on will also make your dog feel that someone is at home with him. This is a great way of relieving stress if your dog suffers from separation anxiety.
By leaving your radio or television on, your dog really will feel calm and content. If you've been wondering how to relieve stress in dogs, this is one of the easiest ways. You can actually purchase music that has been specially made for dogs.
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You can also play the music in the car which is ideal if your dog gets stressed when travelling. You can even purchase music that will help your dog if he suffers from noise phobias.
7. Dog supplements
Before you give your dog any supplements always consult with your vet first to make sure they are safe for your dog to take.
Dog supplements are widely used and can be a very good choice for a stressed dog. You can get supplements that are a mixture of herbs and flowers that help to calm down your dog’s nerves naturally.
Supplements can come in a variety of forms including drops, gums, pills and sprays. All you have to do is add some drops to your dog’s food or water or add a few drops onto a treat if your dog refuses to take pills. You could also crush supplements in pill form and sprinkle them over your pet's food.
There are many great ways of relieving stress in your dog and hopefully the ones I have mentioned here will help your best friend. There are many reasons as to why our dogs become stressed and it’s up to us to find the cause. Dogs aren’t meant to be stressed, they should be happy and content. That's why we need to learn how to relieve stress in dogs.