page contents

Dogs, Healthcare

6 Tips To Help Calm a Nervous Dog

The Paw Print

Essential Pet Blog

Pacing, shaking, cowering, and unexpected indoor accidents. It’s not hard to identify a nervous dog, but knowing the best way to help them cope is a different story. If you’ve ever found yourself at a loss when it comes to comforting your nervous dog, check out our five tips.

How to Help Calm a Nervous Dog

  1. Identify the issue.

What is making your dog uncomfortable? Each dog is different, but some common fears are thunderstorms, fireworks, new people, new places, travel, separation from loved ones, and unfamiliar objects. Usually, the cause of your dog’s fear will be pretty obvious, but if it’s not, you may have to do some detective work. Put yourself in their place and think about anything new or threatening they may be experiencing. Once you have determined what is causing them to be nervous, you can remove them from the situation and avoid it in the future.

  1. Create a safe space.

Depending upon the situation, it can be helpful to provide your dog with a comforting space. If your dog already has a favorite place, make sure he or she has easy access to it any time the fearful situation arises. If not, you can create a relaxing place specifically for your dog to go when he or she feels the need. This could be an interior room with no windows (especially for dogs afraid of storms or outdoor noises), a crate, or a bedroom. Make sure your dog’s safe space has a comfortable place to lay down, their favorite toys, and access to food and water if you think they might be there for a while. Your dog’s safe space will depend largely on their personality and what they’re afraid of.

  1. Pet your dog.

Think about it: when you’re stressed out or worried, don’t you feel better after spending time with a loved one? You’re the person your dog values the most. Giving them a little extra love when you pick up on fear or nervousness could be exactly what they need. One of the most effective ways to pet a nervous dog is to start at the top of the head and slowly follow their spine to their hips. Repeat this soothing motion until you notice your dog beginning to relax. If your dog doesn’t seem to be calmed by petting, try just sitting near them.

  1. Try a calming supplement.

Essential Pet offers calming support for your pet with Essential Pet Pet-EZE products. These trusted products are available in chewable or soft chew form. Pick up your calming support supplements at PetSmart stores nationwide or online.

  1. When in doubt, try physical activity.

Whether your dog is nervous by nature or fearful because of a temporary situation, giving them adequate exercise can burn excess energy and help them settle down. Playing fetch, chasing their favorite toy, or going on a walk can be a good method to distract him or her until the fearful situation has passed. Offer your pet exercise whenever possible.

  1. Check yourself.

Dogs have a pack mentality and are wired to check in with their alphas to gauge situations. Are you putting off nervous vibes, or acting in a manner your dog would consider strange? If your dog sees that you are fearful, he or she will likely adopt a similar emotional state.

It can be difficult to see our pets in distress, but the way you handle it can make all the difference. Every dog experiences fear and nervousness at some point, but with your love and support, your dog can get through it and get back to their happy, tail-wagging selves quickly.

Please share this post

Tags: , , ,