We sat down with Dr. Laurie Johnson to chat all things Anxiety and how to help your dog manage it! Common types of anxiety in dogs? Anxiety is defined as a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease. Some dogs are apprehensive and fearful that they or their people are in imminent danger. Separation anxiety (distress when left alone), and noise phobias (fear of loud noises like thunderstorms, fireworks, etc) are the most common forms of anxiety reported in my practice. Less commonly, some dogs suffer from a constant state of anxiety.
Probably another slide for signs of anxiety...:
❖ Inappropriate elimination
❖ Destructive behavior
❖ Excessive vocalization
❖ Episodes of excessive drooling
❖ Panting excessively
❖ Self-trauma unrelated to allergies
❖ Obsessive-compulsive behavior
❖ Difficulty with crate training
❖ Fearful reaction to loud or startling noises
It's hard to imagine that our furry little ones could be experiencing such a panicked state of mind when we see them as safe and protected.
Unfortunately, for many complex reasons, the anxious pup lives in a scary world. It takes time, patience, and love to help them see things our way.
What can anxiety be triggered by?
Most dogs that have been diagnosed with anxiety have spent time in a shelter environment or have been rehomed. Some dogs develop anxiety over time because of environmental factors (stressful home environment). Diet, nutrition, and state of health are contributing factors. Anxiety typically worsens over time, so it's best to get help when you notice the early warning signs. Your integrative veterinarian can help by making sure that your pup’s anxiety is not related to an underlying medical condition like a painful joint, infected tooth, or another underlying disease state. For more severe cases of anxiety, an evaluation by a Veterinary Behaviorist (boarded specialist) may be necessary.
What are the best Dandy supplements for anxiety?
❖ "Hemp +" - Hemp oil, turmeric, and black pepper are great for dogs that may be dealing with pain, inflammation plus anxiety.
❖ "L-Theanine" - an amino acid known for its calming properties.
❖ "Chill Pill" - Skullcap and chamomile gently calm nervous pups.
❖ "Shine Boost" is a fatty acid supplement that’s great for joints and skin with the added benefit of reducing anxiety.
❖ "Magnesium" known to relax muscles and calm the nerves 3 tips for helping ease anxiety?
❖ Consistent exercise and routine. Exercise calms the mind and change in routine is one of the most common causes of newly diagnosed separation anxiety.
❖ Reward calm behavior. When your dog is chill and taking deep breaths, calmly reward with a treat and a “good calm” or maybe a “dandy” to reinforce the desired behavior.
❖ Maintain calm energy around your dog. Practice deep breathing during quiet time together.
Overall, The approach to anxiety is two-fold. Effective supplements and a high-quality diet plus a behavior modification plan are necessary for success. Behavior modification can be nas simple as a consistent reward-based training program. Careful counter-conditioning techniques can be used to change the way your dog thinks about something scary. Slow and reward-based crate training can give your dog a much-needed safe place to retreat to. Enrichment toys that require problem-solving and sniffing are great for bringing your pup back down to Earth. It's no surprise that our pets are experiencing anxiety right now. Anxiety manifests differently in every pet and what works well for one dog may not help another.
If you need more help with your anxious pet, please schedule an appointment with your integrative veterinarian.