Dog Anxiety Week starts May 7th. This is a very important topic, and one that could definitely need more attention. Just like people, dogs can suffer from anxiety or other issues. A local Hendersonville, NC vet offers some tips on helping Fido cope in this article.
Keep A Steady Routine
Our furry friends tend to feel more safe and secure when they’re on steady schedules. Keep a consistent routine for things like walks, meals, and playtime.
Make sure Fido has plenty of toys and is getting enough exercise. A good workout will help him burn off his nervous energy, just as going for a run or hitting a punching bag can for people. Ask your vet for specific advice.
Doggy Comfort Items
Take steps to make your home feel cozy and welcoming for Fido. Some dogs will feel safe and secure in a crate with comfy bedding. However, this varies from pup to pup: crates wouldn’t be a good option for a dog that spent too much time kenneled. Weighted shirts, plush toys, and pheromones can also help.
There are also some do’s and don’t that can help your canine pal handle himself better. These will of course depend on the type and severity of your pet’s anxiety. For instance, if Fido has separation anxiety—which is very common in rescues—you’ll want to refrain from making a fuss when you come or go. Dogs that are reactive may benefit from desensitization training. A pup that is afraid of storms may learn to cope after hearing CDs of storm sounds played at low levels. Start at a low volume, and increase the levels over time.
In severe cases, medication and/or calming pheromones may help. Your vet may recommend an antidepressant or a calming medication. This may not be something you give daily: for instance, if your pup is afraid of storms, you may need to medicate him when there is weather coming in. However, never give your pooch anything that hasn’t been approved by your vet. This can be very dangerous!
Is Fido afraid of specific things, such as thunderstorms? Desensitisation training may help. One option is to play storm sounds for him, until it just becomes background noise. Ask your vet for advice.
Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your Hendersonville, NC animal clinic!