Holistic Veterinary solutions for Dog Anxiety
You know your dog better than anyone else. You know when she’s relaxed, when she’s bored, and when she’s happy …
… But can you also tell when she’s stressed out?
Dog anxiety is common. It can stop your dog from enjoying normal doggie activities … like going for a walk around the neighborhood. So it’s important to find a way to help her relax and have fun!
Do you know what to do to calm your dog when she’s anxious? I’m sharing below some great natural remedies you can try. They’ll help you avoid pharmaceutical meds that have some bad side effects.
But first, some background on dog anxiety in general.
Common Types Of Dog Anxiety
There are 2 types of dog anxiety, behavioral and situational.
Behavioral anxiety is when your dog has ongoing anxiety about something.
Separation anxiety is an example of behavioural anxiety. It’s the most common anxiety in dogs. Some experts estimate that about 14% of dogs suffer from it. These dogs are afraid of being at home alone or separated from you in any way.
There can be many causes of behavioral anxiety. Past trauma or abuse can cause your dog to react or act out.
Situational anxiety is when your dog is afraid of something specific, like storms or other loud noises, car rides, or going to the vet or groomer.
Signs Of Dog Anxiety
Sometimes it’s easy to tell when your dog is anxious. Other times you may have to pay extra close attention.
These are some of the most common signs of dog anxiety:
Chewing or destructive behavior
Barking or crying
Loss of appetite, refusal to eat
Trembling or shaking
What About Conventional Treatments?
This includes meds like Valium, Xanax, ProZac, Paxil or Lorazepam. You’ve probably heard of these – many are human meds.
Most dogs have to take these drugs for several weeks before there’s a change. But that doesn’t mean the treatment stops after that.
Some dogs can eventually stop taking them, but others need life-long treatment.
And these drugs come with a long list of adverse side effects.
Some of them include:
Increased or decreased appetite
Lethargy and/or drowsiness
Affected learning and memory
Upset stomach, diarrhea, vomiting
Increased aggression and anxiety
Damage to the liver
Some drugs can even result in withdrawal symptoms if used long-term and stopped abruptly.
Luckily there are lots of natural alternatives you can safely use to calm your dog and help her deal with her anxiety.
4 Natural Solutions For Dog Anxiety
#1 CBD Oil
The use of CBD oil is exploding, especially among dog owners, because of its many benefits. It helps with pain management, seizures, even cancer …
And it’s also showing great results when used to manage dog anxiety.
How does it work?
It’s all about the endocannabinoid system.
The body has cannabinoid receptors throughout the central nervous system. Your dog’s body releases endocannabinoid chemicals on its own. These connect with the receptors that stimulate her natural ability to create serotonin. Serotonin is a natural mood stabilizer.
Research shows that CBD increases this ability. It interacts with the nervous system to soothe and calm anxiety.
CBD is great for situational anxiety because it works fairly quickly. For example, if a storm is coming or you’re heading out in the car, give her CBD oil 30-60 minutes before. This will help calm her down and keep her relaxed.
There are several herbs that can help soothe your dog’s anxiousness.
Chamomile – this gentle herb is a powerful sedative – there’s a reason people drink it before bed. It can help your dog relax and soothe her stomach when she’s nervous.
Use it if your dog gets nervous in the car and gets car sick.
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) – this is the most widely recognized herbal sedative. It’s safe and gentle and calms the nerves. It also promotes physical relaxation.
Use it for stressful events or if your dog gets hysterical or overexcitable.
St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) – a safe, effective alternative to anti-depressant drugs.
Use it for separation or fear-based anxiety (thunderstorms or fireworks).
#3 Homeopathic Remedies
Homeopathic remedies are effective because many are very specific. They’re also very safe.
Pinpoint what’s causing the fear and use one of these remedies for fast relief.
Aconite 30C – a good remedy to start with. It’s good for fear in general and can be given every fifteen minutes during a storm. Continue only until you see improvement. If you don’t see improvement, try another remedy.
Phosphorus 30C – good for all noise phobias. It can be given once or twice a day.
Pulsatilla nigicans 6C or 30C – a good remedy for separation anxiety.
Borax 6C – this remedy is specific for fears of thunderstorms and can be given twice a day.
Gelsemium 6C or 30C – this remedy is often used for separation anxiety. There may even be diarrhea or involuntary urination when under extreme stress with this dog.
#4 Bach Flower Essences
About 75 years ago, English physician Edward Bach made an exciting discovery. He found that the essence of certain flowers helps restore emotional balance.
And that makes them perfect for relieving stress and calming down an anxious dog. (It’s also good for your own stress too).
These remedies are gentle, non-toxic and can’t be overdosed.
You can use individual essences that fit your dog’s specific fears or you can use Rescue Remedy, a pre-made blend. It’s available at most health stores.
The Bach Flower Rescue Remedy contains five Bach Flower Remedies:
Star of Bethlehem
It can help in all kinds of stressful situations.
It’s also good for separation anxiety or for situations you know will cause fear.