4 Ways to Reduce Stress and Anxiety in Dogs

by Rocket SEM Collaborator on June 02, 2021

Dog with a blanket

Dogs are a great addition to any family. However, like humans, they can get stressed and anxious, but unlike humans, they can't tell you. Instead, they may turn to destructive or shy behavior. If you would like to learn more, check out these four ways you can reduce stress and anxiety in dogs.

1. Try a Weighted Blanket

Humans are already using weighted blankets because they help reduce anxiety, but they can help your furry friend too. Naturally, you don't want to use your own weighted blanket on your pet because it's too heavy. A good weighted blanket is no more than 10 percent of the animal's body weight. Anything heavier could make it hard for your dog to move, causing more anxiety and stress.

The weighted blanket works thanks to deep pressure therapy or DPT. This gentle pressure is like that of a hug, which naturally helps calm the body and mind. An alternative to weight blankets is a calming coat. A calming coat works like a weighted blanket to create pressure, but the dog can wear it while traveling or walking.

2. Get Your Pup Active

So many dogs don't get enough activity, which can lead to stress and anxiety. For this reason, it's your responsibility to create playtime for you and your pup. One of the easiest ways to do this is by taking your dog for regular daily walks. Walks help get out all that energy your dog has built up. Therefore, instead of using all that anxiety to destroy your sofa, your pup can burn it up with a good walk.  

Getting your dog active also helps keep them at a healthy weight. An obese dog can have major health issues like arthritis, bladder stones, diabetes, heat intolerance, and lowered immune function. All this can put extra stress on your dog. In turn, this stress could cause them to eat more.

3. Include Mental Stimulation

When you take your dog on a walk, they get some mental stimulation too, but if your dog is still showing signs of stress and anxiety, it may be time to add more mental stimulation to your pet's routine. A great way to do this is with treat toys.

With a treat toy, you put a treat inside a toy, and the dog must figure out how to get the treat out. This helps entertain them, but it also stimulates their brain, forcing them to think outside the box to get that delicious treat. If you don't have a treat toy, try hiding the treat somewhere in the house, and watch as your dog hunts for it.

4. Give Them a Massage

Everyone loves a good massage, and your pet will enjoy one too. First, a massage provides touch and comfort. Plus, it allows you to bond with your pet. Massage helps in many other ways too. It helps improve blood flow, which may reduce pain and swelling. The massage also is great for soothing tight joints and tired muscles.

During a massage, acupressure can also be used. During acupressure, light pressure is applied to certain pressure points in the body. This can help with pain, and it can also help soothe a stressed or anxious dog. Naturally, you can give your dog a massage yourself, but a skilled professional is better equipped to help better soothe pain and discomfort.

A dog can add joy and fun to your home, but a stressed and anxious dog can make life hard. Luckily, there are many ways you can help reduce stress in your pet. If you would like to learn more, or if you're ready to help your pet, contact us at Pawsitive Comfort today.