Anxiety in your Furry Friend

Samantha, my dalmation retriever cross has suffered from generalized anxiety for most of her life. After years of trying and slow training, Sam was able to achieve her snooker title in USDAA, but she never was able to comfortably be around other dogs. After seeking some help with a behavioral veterinarian, she was diagnosed with generalized anxiety.


With Stay at Home measures, it's likely that you have been at home with your pup for a while and they've gotten used to you at home too! It is possible that your dog will be a little anxious once you return to normal life and leaving home more often.


There are some amazing resources out there. Sometimes medication is a very good answer and can help bridge the gap between anxiety and comfort. If your dog has been struggling with anxiety for a long period of time, it might be a good idea to talk to your veterinarian about possible options.


Supplements

There are two main supplements that I can recommend through personal experience.

  • Probiotics There are some sound scientific studies supporting the use of certain strains of probiotics to have an effect on stress hormones. One source of probiotics that I haven't used yet, but that have had some great results is the ProPlan Probiotic "Calming Care". It has been developed with canine strains of probiotics. When choosing a probiotic supplement, look for one that has a large number of active CFU and strains of bacteria. I personally have had great results with Adored Beasts Love Bugs (https://adoredbeast.com/product/love-bugs/)

  • Calming Bites One thing that has made a significant difference in Sam's life has been Zesty Paws Calming Bites. I have been using these bites for a few years and have tested having her on them and off of them twice over the years and the difference in her is astounding. The effects take about 2-3 weeks. While on this supplement, Sam is confident, happy to talk to us in the morning, independent and loving. When off of this supplement, she is likely to hide under the table, she's been sleeping with us at night and much more clingy all day long. If you have a dog that struggles with generalized anxiety, or easily worries or sensitivity to changes - I highly recommend this one.


Behavioral Modification

Supporting your dog while they are working through their big feelings is important. One system that has helped me immensely has been The Play Way with Amy Cook. Her system of play and empathy in order to teach the dog how to learn to self soothe has been life changing for both Samantha and Tana.

She has classes through Fenzi Dog Sports Academy.


Canine Enrichment

A bored dog is more likely to be worried about the environment around them. Finding ways to stimulate their brains and burning some excess energy can go a long way to keeping a dog happy!

  • Food dispensing toys - Stuffed kongs, treat dispensing toys

  • Sniffing & foraging - Scattering treats in the grass, a snuffle mat, or hiding their bowl

  • Puzzle games - making them think on how to earn their reward


If you have a dog struggling with anxiety or that might develop separation anxiety type behaviors, there are options. There are some amazing resources out there!

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Aleks Woodroffe - releasecanine@gmail.com

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