Is your canine companion quite nervous? Dogs all have their own personalities, just as people do. And while some are very calm and stoic, others are quite anxious and jittery. If your pup falls into that latter category, read on. A local Bend, OR vet offers some advice on caring for a nervous pooch below.
First and foremost, make sure that Fido is getting enough activity and playtime. A vigorous walk or play session will help your four-legged buddy work off his anxious energy, just as a run or workout can for people. This will also release endorphins, which help relieve stress.
Massage helps reduce tension, reduces stiffness, and helps circulation. You may even notice that your furry pal gets very stiff in one area, such as his neck or shoulders, when he is anxious. Even lightly rubbing these areas can help.
Music can be very calming and relaxing, both for people and pets. This can also be helpful if there is a lot of background noise that is upsetting your pooch. Of course, Fido will probably prefer something soothing, such as classical, jazz, or folk.
There are now a variety of products available that can help soothe nervous pups. You may find products such as pet-calming collars, sprays, or treats at most pet stores. Snug fitting shirts can also help. Think of these as a doggy version of a weighted blanket. Ask your vet for recommendations.
You may find that Fido enjoys having a safe place to retreat to. Crates can be great for this, as long as they are used properly. Add comfy bedding and some toys, and leave the door open, so your pup doesn’t feel trapped.
Fido is very emotional, and his world very much centers on his relationship with you. Providing physical contact can be very helpful in soothing our canine companions. This is similar with humans: one recent study found that hugging someone for as little as 20 seconds a day can fight anxiety. Just don’t force attention on Fido. That may actually increase his anxiety!
Many of the things that soothe people can also be beneficial to dogs. Fido may really benefit from homeopathic remedies or Chinese herbal medicine. Ask your vet for more information.
As your Bend, OR animal clinic, we are here to help. Call us anytime!