Anxiety in a dog is an issue every dog lover wants to get rid of effectively. Certain signs that indicate your dog may be anxious are tail tucking, ears turned back, pacing, panting, drooling, whining, shaking and loss of appetite, to name a few. These signs are natural and healthy in the short-term. Most people I know love the fact that dogs are alert and exuberant creatures. However, when these signs are manifested over extended periods of time, it calls for concern. So, I’ll be showing you a few ways of treating an anxious dog.
Avoiding the anxiety-provoking stimuli
A good first step to take could be to carefully observe the conditions, smells, sights or sounds that your dog associates with heightened levels of stress. Then proceed with minimizing, displacing, or conscientiously keeping your dog away from those visual and auditory stimuli.
Desensitizing your dog
Desensitization involves reducing the intensity of an anxiety-eliciting stimulus to a level that the fear response it used to bring about in the past is no longer elicited. This option requires a level of professional guidance. However, in essence, it is achieved by slowly and surely exposing the dog to the same distressing stimuli, until the dog eventually learns to associate the formerly anxiety-provoking stimuli to pleasure, or at the very least, until the dog is able to ignore it.
Certain medications such as benzodiazepine, alprazolam, diazepam, fluoxetine, clomipramine, and buspirone can also be useful in the treatment of anxiety in dogs. This last option is absolute “Doctor Grounds” though, beware!