Most pet owners are not aware that dogs, much like humans, are typically anxious in unfamiliar spaces. It is for this reason that you may notice that your dog tends to lash out around strangers.
Fortunately, this is a problem that can be remedied using some rather simple steps. While there are some dog breeds that can be left alone during the day without a hitch, there are varieties that suffer separation anxiety.
Behavioural changes can be an indicator of anxiety. If, say, your dog becomes nauseated every time you try to drive around with it, or if your dog seems fidgety in tight spaces, all these are indications of anxiety. Motion sickness and claustrophobia are quite common anxiety problems with many dog breeds. So how can you counter these issues?
Here is a list of four easy ways you can overcome your dog’s anxiety problems.
Dogs are all about predictability, they adapt to feeding and exercise patterns much simpler due to their repetitive nature. Dogs tend to develop expectations. If you feed your dog at 7 pm, then your dog will adapt to the feeding pattern and expect a meal at 7 pm. A change in this pattern of events will cause the dog to be anxious and, sometimes lead to frustrations.
Ensure you stick to a routine, have a strict daily regimen with fixed activities that your dog can adapt to.
CBD Dog Treats
Most dog owners are pretty iffy when it comes to any form of medicating, but with the drastic effects of some dog anxieties, especially the separation kind, it has become evident that Cannabinoid based dog treats are a great alternative.
CBD dog treats aren’t just causing waves because they mellow your dog out, but, for the most part, because they are very effective in soothing and alleviating a variety of anxiety disorders. It is also worth mentioning that they improve your dog’s overall health, and they counter hyperactive behaviour.
Consult a Trainer
The common misconception is that dogs just get anxious over being left home alone. What most pet owners don’t know is, even the noise your vacuum cleaner makes, or the loud honking of your car horn is enough to give your dog a phobia for loud noises.
The good part is, with the right kind of professional assistance, your dog can be groomed to overcome these fears. Professional dog trainers refer to this as a kind of rewiring process, where your dog is taught to overcome a variety of noises, anything from the simple clutter of the dishwasher, to the loud clap of thunder.
Some people may try a DIY approach, but patience and technique are key, so it is perhaps more advisable to find a professional who specializes in this kind of desensitization process.
As mentioned earlier, most dog anxiety problems are triggered by exposure to new and unfamiliar environments. So the simplest and perhaps most underrated prevention technique is socialization. This entails constantly introducing your dog to new sights and sounds, new people, places and mostly new experiences.
The aim here is to create a scenario where your dog becomes well-adjusted to new places as a way to prevent future agitation. Socialization works quite similar to counter-conditioning, where you train your dog to have a more favourable response to unfamiliar stimuli, and, mostly, to tone down any form of aggression.
It is important to note that most dog anxieties are inherently situational, and there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to solutions. It is for this reason that dog owners are recommended to consult a vet to know why their dogs are anxious, and to know how best to tackle that specific anxiety.