Articles for Doctor's Blog

Calming dogs with anxiety disorders

Spring brings the flowers and thunderstorms, a stressor for my dog Atos. When he begins to tremble, I know a thunderstorm is on the horizon.

Dogs that suffer from anxiety have a variety of symptoms, such as barking, pacing, panting, trembling, excessive licking, hiding, climbing onto you or trying to escape through open doors or closed windows. They also may exhibit destructive behaviors in the home like destroying furniture, escaping the yard or aggressive behaviors around people.
Dogs suffering from separation anxiety may destroy the house or hurt themselves when separated from their owners. Dogs suffering from social anxiety, which generally occurs when a dog doesn't receive early socialization, may become fearful of people and their surroundings, resulting in aggressive behaviors.
Treating anxious dogs can be challenging, but veterinarians and animal behaviorists say there are a number of things you can do to help.

Exercise your dog
The more exercise your dog gets, the less likely he will exhibit destructive behaviors common with separation anxiety. Similar to humans, exercise is the best tool for anxiety and depression. Go for long walks and play games with your dog to build confidence and support.

Increase training 
Stressed dogs often lack appropriate mental stimulation. Keep the body busy and the mind stimulated.

Consider homeopathic, herbal and nutritional supplements
Consult a holistic veterinarian for dosage and product recommendations, as some human forms of these products can cause illness in dogs. Our Calm Quiet all-natural calming formula also promotes relaxation with Organic Passion Flower to boost your pup's mood, L-Tryptophan to help reduce destructive outbursts and aggression, and Valerian Root to decrease hyperactive behaviors like pacing, scratching, chewing, and paw licking.

Use behavior modification or desensitization
Expose your dog in small doses to the stimuli that cause the stress, such as low recordings of thunderstorms or exposures to social situations.

Swaddle them
Try an Anxiety Wrap or Thundershirt to wrap their body in a big hug during stressful times.

You may need to try several therapies or a combination of therapies to determine which work best. Your veterinarian also can recommend medications that may ease your dog's anxiety. Don't be afraid to try them.
What stressed dogs really need is your love and the right combination of remedies to provide them relief. Hopefully, you can find the combination that works best for your dog.
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