How to Calm an Anxious Dog

What you can do to ease your dog’s nervous nature.

How to calm an anxious dog

There are many things that could be contributing to your dog’s nervousness. Their medical history and instances of socialization need to be considered. For example, if you adopted an older dog, it’s important to know if they were around other people and animals. If they weren’t, they may be used to being the center of attention and feel scared or overwhelmed while living in a home with other dogs. They may not have been treated well by their previous owners which is why they’re jumpy when they hear loud noises or see something unfamiliar.

Whatever the case may be with your dog, there are many ways to calm their nerves naturally. It’s not just thunderstorms that can trigger a dog. There are many things that may contribute to their nervous nature. In fact, the sooner you’re able to find out what triggers them, the better. That way, you can come up with some coping mechanisms that help your dog adjust quickly to a change in their environment.

Here are some things you can do to calm your dog.

Identify the cause of their anxiety.

Is it thunder that is setting off your dog? Fireworks? The neighbor’s loud pool party? Once you understand what is causing your dog’s discomfort, you can determine the course of action that needs to be taken to help your dog. Dog care is your number one priority.

Slowly introduce the animal to new people.

If your dog isn’t used to being around large groups of family or friends, it can be very disturbing to them. What you’ll need to do is slowly introduce the animal to your houseguests. That way, they can take their time getting to know the people without feeling threatened in any way. Environmental changes can be very unnerving to some animals, especially those that were displaced from their original homes and adopted out to new homes. Understand that it may take an animal more than one visit to warm up to your relatives and friends.

Create a safe haven for your dog to retreat to.

Put items that they’re familiar with into the room or crate. For example, a lightweight blanket over a kennel or cage can create a sound barrier and help filter light. It encourages them to lay down and sleep versus to stay up and pace, bark, or claw at the door. Including some toys for them to play with is also a good idea as it gives the dog a way to distract themselves from whatever the source of their anxiety is. You can even play some soft music for them to drown out the noise. Invest in a wireless speaker so you can control the output of sound from a phone or tablet in the other room.

Dogs have different personalities just like people do. Some are comfortable around loud noises and unfamiliar stimuli while others are not. You can do what you can to aid an anxious dog by providing them with a safe, calm environment and regular reassurance that everything is going to be alright. Familiarity is key because it gives them comfort knowing that not everything is different than what they are typically used to.

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