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Caring For An Anxious Dog

It’s Dog Anxiety Awareness Week! Just like people, dogs can suffer from fear, phobias, loneliness, and stress. Fido can’t express himself very well, so he may unleash his pent-up angst by digging, chewing, or otherwise acting up. These things are often mistaken as simple bad behavior, but in fact are often signs of doggy distress. The good news is that there are things you can do to help your pup cope. An Eau Claire, WI vet offers some insight on caring for an anxious pooch in this article.

Safe Places

Anxious dogs often feel more comfortable when they have a safe spot to retreat to. Crates can be great for this. The key is to make Fido think of his crate as a cozy den. Needless to say, this wouldn’t be a good choice for a pup that’s frightened of being kenneled.

Massage

A soothing massage can be just as relaxing for Fido as it is for you. Book your pooch a session with a pet masseuse. Or, ask your vet for tips on gently giving your canine pal a rubdown.

Training

Training isn’t only important for teaching your pup better manners. It’s also a great way to bond with your canine companion. Learning new things can also be a great confidence booster for dogs. Fido looks adorably proud of himself when he’s being praised for obeying a command!

Exercise

Make sure Fido is getting plenty of walks, activity, and playtime. You want to burn off his nervous energy. Afterwards, he’ll naturally be a bit calmer, and hopefully less jittery. Ask your vet for specific advice on your pet’s exercise needs.

Consistency

Stability can go a long way towards helping nervous pups feel more at ease. Keep Fido on a steady schedule for walks, meals, and playtime. Also, when training him, use the same vocal commands each time. Otherwise, you may confuse him!

Pet-Calming Products

There are many products that can help soothe nervous dogs. These include treats, collars, and sprays. Check with your vet before trying these, and follow the package directions to the letter. You can also find Fido doggy ‘clothing’ such as snug-fitting clothes and hats. These can be particularly helpful during stressful times, such as during storms or during fireworks shows on the 4th of July.

As your local Eau Claire, WI animal clinic, we’re here for you! Call us anytime!

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