Dogs are “a man’s best friend”. Canine pets have a calming effect by providing companionship and unconditional love. Most owners talk to their dogs and feel instantly calm, relaxed, and in a better mood.
Pets, particularly dogs, appear to understand their owner’s tone of voice, gestures, and body language and respond with a supportive cuddle at the right time.
Upon observation, dogs share the same emotions as people. They also manifest love, fear, sadness, guilt, and anxiety. Sudden behavioral changes like restlessness, pacing, aggression, and destructive behavior are the usual signs of stress.
When is it time to give dog anxiety supplements? Understanding the reasons behind the dog’s anxiety reaction is the first step in solving the problem.
As of 2018, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reports that around 48 million American households own an average of 1.6 dogs. Therefore, a considerable number of dogs could be affected by anxiety. Fortunately, there is a wide range of dog anxiety supplements available in the market.
According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, fear, separation, and aging usually cause dog anxiety.
Fear-related anxiety happens when the dog is exposed to loud noises, unfamiliar people, strange environments, and specific situations like trips to the veterinarian’s office and traveling. Therefore, it’s not surprising that dogs show signs of anxiety attacks when hearing fireworks and thunder.
Another reason is separation anxiety. According to studies made by the AVMA, up to 40% of dogs are diagnosed with separation anxiety when they are left alone or separated from close family members.
A third reason is age-related. Older dogs can have cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS), along with a decline in awareness and perception. This condition is similar to early-stage Alzheimer’s disease in humans. This condition can cause dogs to be confused and anxious.
The first step is to consult a veterinarian to assess the seriousness of the anxiety. A thorough check-up will rule out any medical conditions that may be causing the symptoms.
For severe anxiety disorder, veterinarians will recommend dog anxiety supplements. Some pet owners have reported the benefits of using hemp-based products with CBD oil to address their dog’s anxiety. The same supplements also treat pain, arthritis, seizures, loss of appetite, and CDS.
Aside from hemp, there are supplements with chamomile, lemon balm, and green tea that effectively calm dogs.
Veterinarians also prescribe sedatives and oral gels. Pheromones, which are available in sprays, collars, or diffusers, are hormones that help make dogs feel safe.
Aside from consulting the veterinarian for dog anxiety supplements, pet owners can also do their part in reducing anxiety.
Here are some suggestions:
– Make changes in the departure and arrival schedule. Dogs can be stressed when they anticipate their owner leaving.
– Limit interacting with the dog before leaving.
– Delay greeting the dog until they are calm.
– Give toys and treats before leaving.
– Leave some recently-worn clothes to leave familiar smells.
– A few days before departure, mention a word or do something to reassure the dog of the owner’s return.
– Before a trip to the veterinarian, have practice exams at home for the dog to be accustomed to being examined.
Although most anxiety cases may not lead to a severe disorder, dog owners need to be aware of the probable causes, symptoms, and treatments available to address anxiety in their pets.
It’s always best to consult a veterinarian first to rule out any health issues. A suitable treatment plan will ensure more enjoyable years with “man’s best friend”.