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Nobody likes to feel anxious — not people, and certainly not dogs. Treatments for a person with anxiety can be complicated and stretch on for years (long conversations with therapists, restructuring your life, etc.). For a dog, however, there are simpler ways of treating anxiety naturally.
Having an anxious dog, and worrying about how to naturally treat anxiety, can be a big cause of anxiety in owners as well. In this guide, we’ve compiled some information about dog anxiety and outlined a few of the ways you might like to go about treating your dog’s anxiety in a natural way.
Not all natural remedies for dog anxiety are equally effective. Unscrupulous operators are happy to flood the market with inferior products (and even products that don’t work at all). At Bondi Vet, our team of pet health experts has done their due diligence and found natural remedies for dog anxiety that have been shown to make a real impact. Check out the range of dog anxiety products that we’re happy to endorse in our online store.
Anxiety, whether in dogs or people, can be defined as the body having a physical response to a perceived threat. The heart starts to beat faster, and breathing might become more rapid.
Humans and dogs have both evolved to have anxiety, which can be beneficial, at a certain level and in certain situations. For example, If there is a real and present threat, those physical anxiety symptoms can help the body to react quickly, and possibly get to safety.
However, when discussing anxiety more generally, doctors and vets are usually referring to a physical response that is disproportionate and unhelpful.
Dogs might develop problematic anxiety for a number of reasons, and display anxiety symptoms in one or many different circumstances. For some dogs, a trip to the vet might cause anxiety. Other dogs might become anxious during a storm, during separation from their masters (separation anxiety) , or when meeting other dogs.
The symptoms of dog anxiety are fairly simple to spot, and include pacing, whining, crying, and anti-social behaviours.
Some vets will prescribe drugs for a dog that suffers from anxiety, the way a doctor might with a person. However, these anti-anxiety drugs have a host of potential side effects that can be harmful. Common side effects for some anti-anxiety dog drugs include:
A list of more serious side effects includes things like:
Whether to avoid those side effects, to maintain a more natural way of life, or for some other reason, there are many reasons why an owner might want to refrain from giving their dog prescription drugs.
Thankfully, there are also a whole host of natural ways that you can try to treat your dog’s anxiety, and many people have found that some of those natural methods deliver excellent results.
There are an enormous number of ways to naturally treat anxiety in dogs and to make it more simple, we’ve divided them into three different categories:
Consumable items: By this, we mean natural remedies that take the form of things like vitamins, tinctures, ointments, herbs and foods.
Non-consumable items: These are things you can purchase, like coats and collars, that are not consumable, but which have been designed to prevent or reduce anxiety in dogs.
Introducing behavioural changes: Natural behavioural methods of alleviating a dog’s anxiety can cover things like increasing or modifying exercise, changing the way your house is set up, or behavioural training for your dog.
We’ve combed through the market to find natural treatments for dogs with anxiety that actually work. Some of the products we stand by include:
There are several behavioural changes that you can undertake to help your dog deal with anxiety. For example, much like a person, a dog that regularly exercises will have brain chemistry that is better at dealing with stress and anxiety. You might also like to try enlisting the help of a trainer to assist in modifying the behaviours that are causing your dog’s anxiety.
There are many good reasons to treat your dog’s anxiety naturally. Primarily, you should be able to alleviate the suffering your dog is feeling when anxious. Additionally, you won’t be risking the potentially harmful outcomes and side effects that prescription drugs can cause.
Natural treatments for a dog’s anxiety may also confer other benefits. For example, natural vitamin supplements to treat dog anxiety can also be beneficial for your dog’s overall health, and natural hemp treatments for dog anxiety can also result in an improvement to a dog’s skin and coat.
In addition to the methods outlined above for natural methods of anxiety treatment in dogs, there are also some natural calming remedies for anxiety in dogs that you can prepare at home.
Foods that are particularly high in nutrients that might help with dog anxiety include:
Before embarking on a large-scale change to your dog’s diet, we recommend that you have a conversation with your vet about what is right for your pet.
Trying to treat your dog for anxiety in a natural way? It isn’t always easy to distinguish useful and helpful products from flimsy rip-offs. But with expert advice and research, you can make an informed decision. Check out some of the natural products that we endorse as anti-anxiety measures in our online store at Bondi Vet.