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Have Stressed Dog? Discover Some Natural Alternatives to Help Reduce Your Pet’s Stress

The Paw Print

Essential Pet Blog


Try to remember the kind of September, When life was so slow and oh so mellow. The Temptations, Try to Remember

Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension that can come from any event or thought that makes us feel frustrated, angry or nervous. It’s certainly easy to become stressed today with divisive political views, COVID-19 and job worries. Dogs too can suffer with stress-related issues that may instigate anxieties and irrational behavior. How can we, as stressed-out owners, calm our dogs and maybe in the process, ourselves?

The number one stress reducer is regular exercise. Walking, jogging, playing or any form of physical activity helps reduce stress and promotes long term health. It’s good for our own anxieties too and helps strengthen the bond between our pet and us.

Dogs should have a special place of their own where they can be away from the disorder of everyday activities. A comfortable dog bed where he can see what’s going on and a crate in a quiet room provide a choice to chill or snooze. A quiet secure yard is another great place to mellow out.

Dogs pick up on our levels of stress, and we need be mindful that our actions and voice tones influence their behaviors. Slamming doors and yelling may help us cope but do nothing to relax our animals. Breathing exercises like Yoga and Tai Chi are excellent ways for us to combat stress and simply sitting on the floor practicing these exercises with your dog close to you is helpful and healthful for both of you.

Natural or organic pet foods and treats made without by-products, chemicals, dyes or other artificial ingredients may help reduce anxieties and behaviors in animals with a high sensitivity to such ingredients. But don’t over-treat and over-feed because of guilt and sad eyes.

Some animals are particularly sensitive to being left alone and can be quite destructive. Alleviating separation anxiety is a lot of work and might require consulting with an animal behaviorist. A radio left playing while you’re away is calming. My dog, Charlotte, seems to enjoy background sounds from the television, although she often changes the channel from Animal Planet to Netflix.

Loud noises from storms, fireworks or motorcycles may trigger crazy behavior. While animals often respond to veterinary prescribed medications, there are many natural alternatives that have fewer negative side effects. Wearing a pet anxiety shirt that swaddles your dog like an infant can have a calming effect on dogs during stressful events.

Socializing pets to new people, children and other animals on a regular basis helps promote self-confidence and reduce irrational behavior. It’s also a good excuse to chat with neighbors (a stress reducer itself), just stay staying socially distant.

There is no one way to eliminate stress completely, but reassuring our pets with warm hearts, comfortable surroundings, healthful foods and treats and daily interactions help keep life so slow and oh so mellow. Our lives too.

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