6 Ways on How to Calm A Stressed Dog
Stressed dogs are not happy and will whine and bark at everything that passes by. You also need to realize that stressed dogs bite more if they are not relaxed. Let's face it, nobody wants to get bitten by a dog – especially not a friend or family member. What you need is a step-by-step guide that would keep your dog relaxed and calm.
You'll find below 6 proven ways to help out your stressed fur friend:
1- Identify the stressors
Identifying the stressors is the first step in calming your stressed dog, as it allows you to solve the problem and take away their anxiety.
Is it a loud sound? Separation from you? Other nearby dogs? There are many reasons why dogs become stressed, but most of them have a specific cause that can be easily solved. Here are a few example situations:
- Being left alone
- Meeting guests for the first time
- Riding in a car
- Going to a new place
- Thunderstorms, fireworks, and other loud noises
- Going to the veterinarian or groomer
2- Desensitization training
Stressed Dogs can benefit from desensitization training by experts to calm them down from anxiety - if the reason is known.
Desensitization training is a type of dog behavior modification that involves exposing your pet to an object or situation that causes fear, stress, or anxiety. The goal is to gradually introduce the source of stress, so it becomes less threatening over time.
Desensitization training is usually performed under the guidance of a professional trainer who will work with you and your dog at home to help them get used to the object or situation that's causing the anxiety. This process can take weeks or months depending on how severe your dog's reaction is.
3- Offer your dog something to chew on
To calm your dog from stress, offer them something to chew on. If your dog has separation anxiety, chewing can be one way to relieve this condition. When you feel that they need to chew, take advantage of the opportunity and give them something to chew on. It can be as simple as a bully stick or antler, but it also could be a rawhide bone or even a piece of kibble. The key here is that it has to be hard enough for them to chew on for at least 15 minutes.
Chew toys can also help teach your dog what's appropriate to chew on and what isn't. For example, if you give your dog a rawhide bone or another hard treat, they'll quickly learn that it's OK to chew on those things but not on your shoes!
4- Give your dog a massage
The benefits of massaging your dog are many. The most important one is that a massage is proven to calm stressed dogs. It is one of the most underrated de-stressors for our furry friends. You can use a massage device for up to 15 minutes per day which could bring a host of benefits. Besides calming your dog, a daily massage can help them recover from muscle aches and pain, improve their general wellbeing, as well as help them feel more comfortable around people.
A massage is another great way for you to improve your bond with your furry friend because it helps them relax and feel comfortable with their surroundings. It also continues building trust between you two when regularly used. It can also be used as a form of therapy for dogs who are suffering from anxiety or depression or any other mental condition that might be making them feel uncomfortable or unhappy.
When massaging your pet, always remember to use gentle strokes taking into consideration their sensitivity and preferences. A massage should not be uncomfortable at all; otherwise, it defeats its purpose!
Finally, make sure to choose a portable and noiseless massage device if you want to consider purchasing one, to get the most benefits out of it.
5- Get your dog moving
Exercise, walking, and moving make your dog calm down.
In fact, exercise can be one of the best ways to calm an anxious dog. Dogs who exercise regularly have lower levels of stress hormones than those who don't get enough exercise. And when you're out for a walk or run with your dog, you'll both benefit from the time together.
Exercise also releases endorphins in your dog's brain that help relieves pain and stress. A tired dog is a happy one!
If you don't want to take your dog out for a walk, exercise can be done indoors too! There are many toys available that simulate fetching such as tennis balls or dog treat balls. These toys stimulate the feeling of fetching outdoors without having to go outside.
6- Turn on the music
Music has been known to have a calming effect on humans and animals alike. When we're stressed out or anxious, listening to soothing music can help us relax and feel better about ourselves. It's no different with dogs — if they're feeling agitated or anxious, turning on music would help them calm down.
If your dog is suffering from separation anxiety or any other kind of anxiety issues like fear of thunderstorms or fireworks, putting on some soothing tunes will help them relax. This is especially true if you play the same song every time there's a storm or loud noise in the neighborhood; this way your dog will associate the song with something pleasant happening instead of something negative happening.
Some of these solutions are easier than others, but the point is that they all teach your dog that it's possible to be calm. The more you practice these techniques, the less stressed your dog will be. As a result, it's important to make your dog as comfortable and safe as possible at home.
If you'd like to learn more ways to make your dog happier, healthier, and loved, check out PawzUp Portable Pet Massager and how it can help your pet Relax, Recover, and Bond!