When it comes to anxiety in dogs, just like with humans, we tend to want fast cures. But, we have to remember that anxiety is real – it’s not ‘in your dog’s head’. No, it’s literally coursing through their body. What are the three fastest cures for anxiety in dogs? You might be surprised to find out that a lot of the ‘fastestness’ relies on you and your interactions with your dog!
It might seem counterintuitive to put “fast cure for anxiety in dogs” and “patience” together, but, truthfully, trying to force your dog to get over their anxiety will result in them becoming more stressed and might make their anxiety worse. Remember, your dog isn’t enjoying their anxiety any more than you are!
No matter what approach you take to help your canine overcome their anxiety, it’s going to take some time. However, some methods are more effective than others, and they save you time in the long run because they are geared in a way your dog will catch onto and benefit from more quickly.
So, let’s look into these other methods used as cures for anxiety in dogs.
Behavioral modification comes across as an intimidating term to those not familiar to it, but if you own a dog, there’s already a chance you’ve used this method with them in other areas of their life outside of their anxiety.
Did you teach your dog to recognize commands such as “sit” or “come” or some other trick? Then you can definitely teach them to better cope with their anxiety through behavior modification. This method simply means helping to change your furry loved one’s behavior and responses to stimuli through a set of positive or negative consequences. It’s been proven effective in both animals and humans. You’re basically rewarding behaviors and thinking patterns you want your dog to adopt and see as good.
You want to start with small steps or changes and reward your dog when they show the correct response. One example of this could be when you’re trying to lessen your dog’s separation anxiety. Randomly throughout the day pick up your car keys, but instead of leaving the house just continue your daily tasks. This is because most dogs associate the sound of keys with departure, and this can bring on distress for dogs with separation anxiety. As they realize you’re not leaving and settle down, reward them with affection and/or a treat. Your dog will soon become desensitized to your picking up your keys. Then you can move on to another aspect of separation-based anxiety (putting on your shoes, opening the door). Eventually, they will recognize that you leaving the house is not something they need to agonize over.
Researchers conducted a behavior modification study on a 2 year old adopted shelter dog and was experiencing separation anxiety. By implementing little steps of progress and rewarding behavior, the dog made significant improvement after 2 weeks (source).
Dog Ear Plugs
A number of tools exist as cures for anxiety in dogs. Some of them include medications, dog treats with CBD, collars with lavender oil, vests, and ear plugs for dogs. Most people turn to dog medication as a last resort since there are usually side effects. However, getting your pooch some dog ear plugs for noise might be just the thing needed to your pup. (we have some great quality dog ear plugs that fit inside your canine’s ears.)
This is especially true if your dog suffers from noise anxiety or is upset by sudden or loud noises (e.g. fireworks, lawn mower, etc.). Ear plugs provide both hearing protection for dogs’ ears and a dampening effect. Dog earplugs makes the noise less frightening for dogs.
Earplugs for dogs can also help with general anxiety since they help ensure a quiet environment for your dog. They are good to have in your arsenal of cures for dogs with anxiety.