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How To Calm Down A Dog With Anxiety

October 17, 2018

How To Calm Down A Dog With Anxiety

As any dog owner will know, dogs can be prone to anxiety or hyperactive behavior. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, since all animals (and humans!) naturally experience anxiety at various times in their lives. 

Many dog owners will find that their pet manages just fine day to day, but there will be occasions when he or she needs a little more support in managing their emotions and behavior.
Other pet owners will find that their dog regularly - and even daily - exhibits signs of nervousness or hyperactivity. The causes of this are varied.

 Some breeds are simply genetically predisposed towards fearfulness, and so these animals will always be more likely to react fearfully to situations they see as threatening. 

Very often, dogs who have been through traumatic experiences will remain anxious later on in their lives, which is why so many rescue dogs are prone to nervous behavior.

What are the best ways to calm a dog down?

There is a wide range of dog calming strategies and techniques that you can try with your pet. We recommend trying as many as possible to see which ones work best for your dog.

Take a look at our list of the top 5 ways to calm your anxious dog:

1. Exercise

 Just like humans, even gentle exercise can help dogs to feel calmer and more relaxed.
Although the length and distance will vary depending on the breed and age of your dog, generally a long walk in the morning (around 20-30 minutes) and then a shorter walk in the evening after work is ideal. 

You don’t need to make it too fast-paced. Your pet will love having time to explore their surroundings. In addition to stretching their legs, all the fascinating smells will stretch their brain, too.

2. Build a routine

Hyperactivity is often a result of insecurity on the dog’s part. This is especially true of adopted dogs who may have moved around a lot in their past and have had little if any structure in their lives. 

Dogs thrive on routine. Developing a daily routine gives your dog an idea of what to expect life to be like and can calm their nerves.

A good daily routine should incorporate exercise, quality time (petting and playing), feeding, and socializing. It might look something like this:

    1. Wake up and take your dog for a walk.
    2. Spend some time playing and petting with your dog. They may have a favorite game that you can play with them at the same time every day.
    3. Feed your dog and let them outside if possible to relieve themselves.
    4. During the day, your dog will likely sleep whilst you are out of the house or follow your activities with interest if you are at home.
    5. In the early evening, your pet will likely appreciate another walk followed by dinner if they are fed more than once a day.
    6. Your pet will enjoy socializing with you in the evening before bedtime.


3. Smart toys

Put your dog’s brainpower to good use. Keeping your dog engaged and entertained can be an especially effective way of helping to distract them from potentially anxiety-inducing situations, such as a storm outside or fireworks.

Get a few toys that require your dog to think. Toys like Kongs and Buster Cubes allow you to load them up with your dog’s kibble or favorite treats, keeping them occupied for a while while they manipulate the toy to make it dispense food.

4. Obedience or trick training

Obedience training builds a common language between you and your dog. It’s another way to calm their nerves, as it teaches them how the world expects them to behave.

If your dog is quite new to obedience training, we recommend starting with just 5-10 minute sessions to stop them from getting bored and losing interest. 

Make sure you are consistent, even down to always using the same name for your dog. Nicknames can be confusing for them and could make it harder for them to follow your instructions.

For more on how to train your dog, take a look at this helpful guide.


5. Learn a new sport or game

Getting involved in a dog sport like agility, flyball, freestyle or disc dog is a great way to build the bond between you and your furry friend.

They provide physical and mental exercise all at once. It can also be a good way to help your pet get used to being around other dogs or humans, especially if they have a tendency to be shy.


What can you give a dog to calm them down?

Alongside our top 5 strategies for helping your dog to relax, we always recommend you feed your dog with a high-quality treat like DakPets calming treats for dogs.

These natural calming supplements for dogs can help support your pet by keeping them calm and at ease - whether it's anxious and nervous behavior or just a slightly aggressive temperament.

Many brands will claim to offer natural dog calming products, but always check the ingredients carefully to make sure you are happy with them. Our premium hemp calming support treats contain 100% organic hemp, as well as a range of other natural and organic ingredients.

We hope our top 5 strategies for supporting anxiety relief in dogs help your pet feel calmer and more content.
For more tips specifically on dealing with anxious dogs, take a look at this article on how to calm your dog down.




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