How To Treat A Dog With Anxiety

How To Treat A Dog With Anxiety


Whether a dog is suffering from separation anxiety, or a more specific phobia (like fireworks or thunder), there are plenty of ways to help him feel better. The key word here is “help.” We can’t cure anxiety; we can only help our dogs cope with it. Let’s explore some of the ways I’ve found that work best when helping manage a dog’s anxiety.

Try basic behavioral training techniques.

When your dog is exhibiting signs of anxiety, it’s important to remember that they’re likely interpreting the world differently than you. They’re also most likely experiencing some form of fear—whether it’s fear of separation or fear of loud noises.

For this reason, it’s best to understand your dog’s specific triggers before attempting any sort of behavioral modification treatment to help them overcome their anxiety. Once you know what causes your dog distress and anxiety, you can begin modifying their behavior through simple training techniques:

  • Positive reinforcement involves rewarding good behavior with praise or a treat. This encourages the desired behavior to continue in the future because it provides an incentive for doing so. It’s best used on dogs with mild issues who are receptive toward learning new things (i.e., puppies).
  • Negative reinforcement involves reducing an unpleasant experience when a certain action occurs (i.e., withholding food from a finicky eater until they eat all their dinner). While this may seem counterintuitive at first glance, negative reinforcement actually trains animals not only how but why something should be done—and usually results in more effective learning than positive reinforcement alone.

Recognize the source of the anxiety.

Once you’ve established that your dog is anxious, it’s time to treat the cause. The first step is recognizing when your dog is experiencing anxiety. If you’re unsure of the signs, there are multiple resources available on the internet and in books that can help you identify them. Once you know what they look like, it will be much easier to spot and react accordingly.

Some common signs of anxiety include:

  • Panting (excessive or excessive)
  • Shaking (trembling and quivering)
  • Sitting still with ears back or cowering using submissive signals

Use a sound-based approach.

  • Use a sound-based approach.

A sound-based approach can be very effective in helping your dog relax and feel better. This approach uses sound to help your dog learn how to cope with anxiety, and it can also be used as part of an overall treatment plan. A sound-based approach uses specific sounds, such as white noise or music, to distract the dog from what is causing their anxiety. You can use this kind of treatment when your dog is anxious about something specific like thunderstorms or fireworks—or even just general stress caused by being in a new environment or around strangers that makes them nervous.*

Talk to an animal acupressurist.

Acupressure involves applying pressure to points on a dog’s body in order to relieve pain, stress and anxiety. It’s based on the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, which holds that there are channels of energy running through the body called meridians. When these are blocked or unbalanced, it can cause pain and illness.

Acupressure is not considered a substitute for medical treatment but may be used alongside it. It can help reduce anxiety in dogs undergoing surgery or suffering from chronic illnesses such as diabetes and arthritis.

Speak with your vet about anti-anxiety medications.

Anti-anxiety medications are sometimes used to treat specific types of anxiety in dogs, such as separation anxiety. They can be effective in treating some cases of fear-related phobias and generalized anxiety, but they’re not always the best option.

Anti-anxiety drugs are generally safer than antidepressants, but they still have side effects (such as drowsiness) and can be dangerous if overdosed. It may take two or three weeks before you notice a change in your dog’s behavior after starting an anti-anxiety medication; this is because it takes time for the drug to build up in his system.

Keep in touch with a holistic vet or nutritionist, who may recommend supplements or herbal remedies to treat a dog’s anxiety.

In addition to medications, you can also use supplements or herbal remedies to treat a dog’s anxiety. While these treatments aren’t meant to replace conventional treatment, they can help ease symptoms and reduce the need for medication. The following are some of the supplements or herbal remedies that holistic vets or nutritionists might recommend:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids: These fatty acids are found in fish oil, flaxseed oil and hempseed oil. They’re known to help with mood disorders in humans; however, research on their effects on dogs is still limited.
  • Valerian root: This herb has been used for centuries as a natural sleep aid because it acts as an anti-anxiety agent by calming the central nervous system (CNS). Research suggests that valerian may be more effective than other herbs at treating mild insomnia in dogs but isn’t always recommended because it can interact with other medications your pet takes (like blood pressure medications).
  • Chamomile tea: Like valerian root, chamomile tea contains compounds called flavonoids that act as sedative agents that relax muscles without causing drowsiness—and it’s completely safe for dogs!

Diffuse essential oils in the house.

  • Diffuse essential oils throughout the house.
  • Use a diffuser for 30 minutes a day.
  • Use a diffuser for 1-2 hours a day.
  • Use a diffuser for 2-3 hours a day.
  • Use a diffuser for 3-4 hours a day.

Consider homeopathic and holistic remedies for dog-anxiety issues.

Homeopathic remedies are made from natural ingredients. The ingredients are placed in a liquid solution, which is then evaporated until the water content is reduced to a very small amount. The remaining material is called a “mother tincture.” This mother tincture can be diluted further with water, alcohol, or glycerin to create more concentrated doses of the remedy.

Homeopathic remedies are safe and natural without side effects. Because homeopathic remedies are so dilute, they’re unlikely to cause any problems except under certain circumstances (for example, if you have an allergy or sensitivity to certain foods).

Because homeopathy uses plants and minerals as its source materials for making medicines, it’s great for treating many types of conditions—including anxiety!


If your dog is exhibiting signs of anxiety, you should consider consulting with a professional. If every other option has failed, there are also medications available to help alleviate the symptoms of canine anxiety. To review, there are six treatments for dogs with anxiety:

  • Exercise more often – it’s an excellent way to help your anxious pooch manage their stress levels while keeping them in good shape!
  • Mental stimulation – games that require problem-solving skills can be helpful in reducing anxiety as well as providing entertainment for both you and your dog!
  • Positive reinforcement training – training based on positive reinforcement can go a long way towards helping dogs feel more confident while they learn new behaviors or become accustomed to being around others without fearfulness and stressfulness!
  • Medication – this may be necessary if none of the other options have worked; however, some medications may have side effects so talk with your vet before giving any pills or liquids orally (or topically!) that could have negative consequences for humans too!
  • Be patient – it will take time for these treatments to work and reduce symptoms; if possible try not tiring out too quickly because patience pays off big when dealing with a dog who suffers from anxiety disorders or separation issues!
  • Talk about WHY you need these things and what else might help calm down an anxious pup like massage therapy (if appropriate) or acupuncture treatment at home by trained professionals who know how best to administer such therapies safely without causing harm instead just relying on medication all day long which may cause unwanted side effects after prolonged use over periods longer than one month at most , but do not forget about those steps first before going straight ahead into expensive procedures etcetera…’

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