Like humans, dogs also feel nervous. If you have one nervous pet, don’t worry, you can help him calm down.
If unaddressed, this can turn into a phobia which can emotionally affect your pet. It can also lead to other physical ailments and behavioral problems such as destructiveness.
Signs of an anxious dog
- Bent body posture
- Enlarged pupils or eyes looking dejected
- Ears held dejectedly
- Deepened brow
- Shaking or trembling
- Lack of bowel or bladder control
Helping a nervous dog
Sadly, there is no single solution to the problem. You have to keenly observe your dog by listening, looking, touching and smelling for clues that triggers his nervous reactions. Keep calm and be patient.
Use some empathy. Try to put yourself in the place of your pet. After sometime of being together, you can sense what is making your pet uncomfortable.
Pet or massage your dog. Each dog has different type of favored massage. Gentle and soft strokes especially on the side of the ears of the dog are quite soothing. With a calm voice, you can talk to him as you massage him. Do this until he calms down.
Noise and loud sounds
During thunderstorms, keep him in a secluded place – a closet or an enclosed room – where he will not be able to hear the full intensity of the sound of the thunderstorm. Allow him to go out only after all the noise has stopped.
By nature, dogs are a lot more sensitive to sound than humans and female dogs than male dogs. Therefore, this makes them more sensitive to sound and particularly to loud sounds or noise. This makes them very nervous and trembly.
Music can also help. Close the blinds to help lessen the impact of the sound or noise. Some dog owners and managers of animal shelters attest to the soothing effect of classical music
Strangers make them uneasy
New persons also make them nervous. If possible, refrain them from getting near your dog. Wait a little time before making them interact with each other. Otherwise, the dog’s nervousness could lead to a violent reaction in the presence of a stranger.
If you have to introduce somebody, take it slowly and make sure that the new person will never intimidate your pet in any way.
Distract dog’s attention
Distract the attention of your dog. Try to feed your pet with a favorite food whenever he feels agitated. Allow him also to play with his favorite toy. These actions will help him calm down in a constructive way. Create a stressful condition into a positive one.
Later, your pet will remember the cause of stress as not anymore as something negative but something that has given them fun – be it persons, occasions or thunder.
Some veterinarians can prescribe medications that could calm the nerves of the nervous dog. Although some are over the counter, but, to be safe, it is best if a professional will be the one who will make the recommendation. Otherwise, it might put your dog’s health in jeopardy.
Overall, it pays to be the calming factor in a nervous situation. If the dog sees you as calm and collected, he will eventually follow suit.