Believe it or not, your dog can also experience stress. As a human being, you know how terrible being stressed feels, and it’s not fun. Many of the behavioral issues we see in dogs stem from stress and their inability to cope. Unfortunately, dogs can’t voice their concerns or worries to let you know that they’re experiencing stressors in their life. Therefore, it’s difficult to know when our furry friends are stressed out. A few indicators to let you know your canine is stressed are:
- Whining or barking
- Lip licking
This is not a comprehensive list, but it’s a good starting point if you think your pet might be stressed. Keep reading to learn ways you can help your dog relieve stress.
Pinpoint Their Stressor
In order to help your pet reduce their stress, you need to find out what’s affecting them. For example, do they experience separation anxiety when you leave or are there fireworks constantly going off in your neighborhood? Once you find out what’s causing the stress, you can effectively remove them from the situation or work on their behavior. You eventually want to desensitize your pet to their triggers to prevent them from feeling anxious all the time.
CBD, also known as cannabidiol, has become a popular trend among dog owners because of its calming effects. CBD oil comes from cannabis and hemp but does not contain THC. So no, your dog won’t be feeling loopy. The best CBD oil for your dog will be high-quality, organic, and used in its liquid form. Make sure to visit your pet’s veterinarian to find out if CBD oil is the right option for their stress.
All dogs, no matter their breed, age, or size, need regular and daily exercise. Physical activity is a great way to reduce their stress while also tiring them out. Take them for a walk, visit the dog park, or play a couple rounds of fetch to help your dog alleviate stress and ensure their happiness.
A dog’s mental health is just as important as their physical well-being. Mental stimulation is necessary to help your dog learn, lower stress, and prevent destructive behavior. There are plenty of puzzle toys that can keep your dog occupied and distract them from whatever is causing them turmoil. For example, Kongs are one of the most popular dog toys on the market for a good reason.
However, brand name toys can be expensive. A simple alternative solution is to create a few enrichment toys from stuff you have around at home. For instance, a clean, emptied milk jug full of treats will give them something to do for a considerable amount of time.
Although there are differing views on whether you should crate train or not, it’s highly recommended by veterinarians and dog trainers. A crate provides your dog with their own space that they can retreat to whenever they need a break from humans. For instance, a crate can stop your dog from feeling overwhelmed when you have visitors in your home.
Ideally, your crate should include comfortable bedding and a few safe toys. It’s also a good idea to cover the crate with a blanket to create a den-like atmosphere. If this is your first time using a crate, try placing a couple of old t-shirts inside to help them adjust.
Calm Background Sounds
There are so many music playlists on YouTube to help your dog relax. If your pet suffers from separation anxiety, try playing calming music when you’re gone. Dog owners may also leave the television on to make their pets feel less lonely at home.
Be Patient and Supportive
As you continue to help your dog destress, it’s important to remain positive and patient. Your dog can sense when you’re frustrated, which will only make matters worse. Dogs are huge commitments, and it’s your responsibility to ensure they’re taken care of. After all, they look to you for guidance, support, and love.
The path toward reducing and relieving their stress may not be easy, but it’s worth it. By implementing the tips above, your dog will likely have a much happier and healthier life.