Does your dog often bark or act anxious and hyperactive? Does it feel like your furry friend’s energy is never-ending?
Having a nervous or anxious dog is common, and it often results in hyperactivity. Don’t worry, because hope is not lost! Being a happy dog owner with a more relaxed and happy dog is possible.
Keep reading to learn how to calm down a dog with 5 effective tips!
What Causes Anxiety in Dogs?
Before we dive into our tips for calming your dog down, it’s important to understand why your dog is acting this way. Hyperactivity can seem to come out of nowhere, but it likely does have a root cause.
Dog nervousness is usually either behavioral or situational. One cause might be a change in the environment. Something as small as a thunderstorm or weather change can frighten your dog and cause anxiety.
Also, moving to a new home can be a big shift for dogs. The anxiety caused by a new space could take some time, while they get used to the layout of the new home. Traveling, in general, can cause a lot of nervousness too, so your dog may experience a lot of anxiety.
Loud sounds are another common cause of dog anxiety, so your dog may become hyperactive while you’re vacuuming.
Finally, separation anxiety is one of the most common causes of anxiety in dogs. Dog owners leave during the day to go to work, and this often causes their dogs to feel lonely. Dogs might whine, bark, or even chew through some furniture while their owners are gone.
What Are the Symptoms of a Nervous Dog?
Identifying which symptoms are caused by anxiety and which are caused by other typical dog problems is helpful in finding a solution.
The symptoms of an anxious dog can vary, but they typically include hyperactivity, barking, digging, and excessive licking. If your dog suffers from extreme anxiety, consult a veterinarian.
5 Tips for Calming a Dog
Your vet can help you determine what might be triggering your dog and how it’s displaying anxiety. However, if your dog is experiencing a normal level of nervousness, there are several things you can do to help them calm down!
1. Playing Music
Since separation anxiety often causes dogs to act out, playing music on repeat can calm the dog down while you aren’t home. This is also helpful for hyperactive dogs, even when you’re in the house.
Studies have shown that playing classical music, like Four Seasons, can be used to decrease energy. It can also reduce stress levels. Be patient while you’re playing the music and allow it to calm both of you down so that the dog can also take note of your energy.
2. Physical Connection and Petting
While you probably often pet your dog throughout the day or when you get home, you might not be aware that prolonged physical connection can help calm a dog down.
One study observed that 8 minutes of petting a dog can calm anxiety. The heart rate of the dogs decreased, indicating that their stress level was decreasing.
But excessive physical connection, like hugging, can actually cause their heart rate to increase. This brings up their stress hormones and might make them more active. So while connection, like petting, is recommended, hugging might not provide the same results.
3. Exercise and Frequent Walks
Exercise and walking is a great way to relieve anxiety for both humans and dogs. It helps release endorphins and can help boost your mood. This is also helpful for dogs.
Helping your dog get regular exercise for longer than 25-minutes can also help them sleep better. Exercise is a natural way to help them have less energy at the end of the day.
Try increasing the number of walks you take with your dog. One trip outside should also involve more exercise than walking, if possible. So take advantage of any dog parks near you, and let your pet run around and play fetch.
4. Work On Reducing Your Own Stress
You can often feel when your partner or spouse is anxious and stressed. They either show it by bouncing their leg or sighing, or you may just be able to tell. Dogs have a similar relationship with their owners.
Research has shown that dogs often feed off the energy of their owners because of the emotional bond. If a dog feels connected to an anxious human, it might also start experiencing anxiety.
A strong and stable relationship between you and your spouse or partner can also help to decrease your dog’s anxiety. In general, having less stress around the house elicits a calming energy that the dog will recognize.
5. CBD Oil and Anxiety Medications for Dogs
Anxiety medication has been shown effective for dogs and can quickly decrease separation anxiety. But some owners prefer a more natural remedy, so they seek out CBD.
CBD oil is extracted from hemp and does not contain THC. Therefore, it will not give your dog a euphoric feeling, but it may provide relaxing effects. Take some time to research popular CBD oils for dogs being sold near you.
Try These Tips and Learn How to Calm Down a Dog
If you have an anxious dog, you’re likely desperate to learn how to calm down a dog. Anxiety and nervousness are common in dogs, and they’re caused by many outside factors.
Try to combine some of the tips above—like regularly exercising the dog, frequently petting it, and playing music when you aren’t home.
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