Do you have an overly-anxious dog on your hands? Perhaps your pup becomes nervous when no one is home and acts out destructively by chewing your furniture. Other dogs become anxious when they hear thunder or other loud noises. Knowing where to begin in treating your dog’s anxiety is important so that you can try everything else before turning to medication to solve the problem.
Have a discussion with your veterinarian about natural supplements for your dog. However, keep in mind that the results are not instantaneous. It generally takes up to six weeks to see the full effects. Look for supplements that contain:
- Magnolia and philodendron extract
- Whey protein concentrate
Power of Pheromones
Pheromone diffusers and collars are great alternatives to test out before going the route of giving out prescription medication. The synthetic hormones used are almost identical to those that are naturally produced by mother dogs in order to calm their little ones.
When your dog smells this pheromone, it helps to naturally ease anxiety. Known as DAP, or dog appeasing pheromone, this pheromone works by stimulating your dog’s nose.
Name brands in which you might find DAP sold include Adaptil, Comfort Zone, or Thunder Ease. Follow the instructions on the package and contact your veterinarian to answer any questions you might have.
Compression shirts or jackets may be a helpful tool in your fight against doggie anxiety. Something about their tight fit is comforting to anxious canines. The gentle, constant pressure that it provides is responsible for releasing calming hormones into your dog’s bloodstream.
Give Your Dog a Safe Zone
Your dog needs a quiet, small space where he can retreat when he wants to. Ideally, the room should contain all the comforts of home, including food, water, toys, and treats. Try not to locate his space in a busy area or near the main entrance.
Provide Ample Exercise and Entertainment
Keep in mind that if your dog isn’t getting enough exercise, he or she is likely bored. Boredom can play a role in a pet developing anxiety. Experts suggest that most dogs need at least one hour of cardio daily. Enrichment tools such as puzzle toys will help keep your dog mentally challenged.
When Medication Has Become Recommended
Perhaps you have tried all of these things, and your veterinarian has determined that your dog’s anxiety would best be helped by prescription medication. Here is a list of commonly used dog anxiety medications:
Side Effects of Prescription Medications for Dogs
Before going the prescription route, be sure to ask your veterinarian about any possible side effects of the drug that your dog will be taking. Common symptoms of dog anxiety medications include:
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- Changes in appetite
- Being sedated or confused
- Becoming hyperactive
- Having difficulty walking
- Increased body temperature
Whether you decide to put your dog on prescription medication or not is your own personal decision. If the natural alternatives haven’t worked for you, trust that your veterinarian is going to guide you in the right direction.