Top 3 Calming Exercises for Anxious Dogs

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Many dogs are sent to shelter home due to their anxiety problems that develop due to hyperactivity. On the other hand, dogs that are brought home from animal shelters have behavior issues like barking, digging, destructive chewing, etc. The problem, in both cases, is not with dogs but with the owners who fail to provide enough opportunities to their Fido to invest their pent-up energies positively.

Did you ever think of trying out some calming exercises for your pooch? Here are three ways to tone down the excessive energy of dogs:

  1. Doga:

Doga has calming effects on both the dog owner and the pooch. Although dogs are not able to imitate the stretches and poses of their yogi owners, still they feel calm at the end of a yoga session. The bonding between the owner and the dog gets stronger. The owners are able to better understand their Fido’s body language. They will be able to train the pooch in a more calm and controlled manner.

Doga helps dogs invest their energies in calming exercises. Your pooch will feel relaxed after doga class. Try it out for your anxious and hyperactive dog.

  1. Routine and Familiarity:

Unfamiliar situations and environments, as well as haphazard routines, are known to create confusions in the pooch’s mind. It may create anxiety that will lead to destructive chewing and excessive barking, etc.

Dogs enjoy following routines. They feel uncomfortable when their set schedule is not followed. Routines help a dog wait for the play, walk or exercise time patiently. Consistency in daily routine activities will keep the pooch relaxed. Are you following the routine of your dog?

Sometimes dog owners do not maintain routine of giving food to the pooch. Whether you serve raw dog food or dry kibble, maintain a fixed time. One day giving food via treat dispensing toys and the other day in food bowls can also upset the little pooch. Dogs need surety about everything. Or else, they stay anxious whether they will have it or not!

If you are an adventure lover, your dog can feel anxious in unfamiliar places. To maintain the familiarity, take the Fido’s favorite chewing cloth that has your scent and of home. Give him a chew toy, familiar bowl, familiar bed, and blanket to stay calm and comfortable at unknown places or new home.

  1. Music or Smart Toys:

Some dogs are not hyperactive but are rather intelligent dog breeds. They need something for their mental stimulation. Find out some puzzles, buster cubes, interactive toys, Kongs to keep the pooch busy during your absence. Stuff them with their favorite treat so they may stay motivated to solve the puzzle.

Whether it’s a thunderstorm or fireworks that makes your pooch anxious and restless, it will not worry your Fido anymore. Simply, turn on some soft music in the room. A study conducted by Physiology and Behavior says that dogs feel relaxed and calm when the sound of soft rock or reggae fills the room. During unfamiliar situations or stressful ones, playing the soothing soft rock music will definitely improve your dog’s behavior.

Before you decide to leave your cute cuddle ball in an animal shelter, consider trying these tricks to calm his nerves. Sometimes, medications work for toning down dog’s anxiety.

Would you like being left alone for your bad behaviors that developed due to certain circumstances other had created for you?

Thundershirt Eases Anxiety

The Thundershirt applies a gentle, but constant, pressure to your dog’s body to ease her anxiety throughout different situations. Of course, the Thundershirt often helps dogs get through thunderstorms (which is why it’s called the thundershirt)… but it can also help decrease separation anxiety… or anxiety in general.

The Thundershirt is often recommended before you begin trying any kind of medication. After all, if the Thundershirt helps, why would we want to medicate our dogs?

To read more about the Thundershirt, click here.

 

D.A.P. for Dogs: Reducing Anxiety

As a Canine Behaviorist, I have recommended D.A.P. to reduce anxiety levels for dogs often with high success rates. Those who have tried D.A.P. return to me happy to see an improvement in their dog’s anxiety levels while at home.

The hormone contained in the diffuser is similar to the one released to puppies from their mother. Research has proven this product to be beneficial within 15-20 minutes of implementing.

Remember, all dogs are different so what works for one dog may not work for another. And, it may take a little more time for the calming pheromone to work on some dogs.

DAP

Separation Anxiety

One of the most common problems a canine behaviorist handles is separation anxiety. It is easy to become frustrated when your dog has separation anxiety, and that frustration can be sensed by your dog making the situation that much more difficult.

Separation Anxiety

What is separation anxiety, exactly? Separation anxiety is often thought to be simply as a dog who becomes upset when their guardian leaves the house. This is not always the case, though. A dog can experience separation anxiety, in severe cases, by their guardian just leaving the room.

Symptoms of Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety has a variety of symptoms but most commonly involves:

  • Excessive salivation
  • Excessive vocalization (whining, barking, howling)
  • Chewing items in the house
  • Urinating/defecating in the house
  • Scratching the walls and floor in an attempt to escape
  • Depression-like behavior

How Crate Training Can Help

Crate training can help significantly in reducing feelings of separation anxiety. If your dog is not familiar with their crate, they should not be placed in the crate for an extended period of time immediately. Instead, they should be placed in the crate for short periods of time to become comfortable. Be sure to place their favorite blanket and bone with them during their time in the crate.

Many times, dogs soon learn this is their ‘safe’ place. Be sure to leave the door open in case your dog wants to escape to his crate if there’s company, or even if he’s just tired.

The crate should be large enough so he is able to stand all the way up, and he should be able to turn around and get comfortable easily.

The Zen Crate

Recently, there has been a new development in the field of separation anxiety known as the Zen Crate. The Zen Crate is extremely impressive and has been shown to reduce separation anxiety, and anxiety in general, significantly. Read about the Zen Crate in the ‘Recommended Products’ page or search for Zen Crate in this blog.

Other Options

Another option involves leaving your dog alone for short periods of time. This is a time-consuming option so be sure to set some time aside for the next couple of weeks if possible. If your dog has severe separation anxiety, start by just leaving the room for short periods of time, then go back to the room where your dog is.

Once he is comfortable with this, you can then move to leaving to another side of the house completely or even step outside for a moment, then come back in. You can then increase the amount of time you spend away from the home little by little. This will allow your dog to understand you will always come back and instill a sense of trust with you.