How to calm an anxious dog, fast! Top 5 at home remedies

Table of contents

  1. Intro
  2. A little bit about canine anxiety
  3. How to calm an anxious dog: Top 5 home remedies
  4. More about how to calm and anxious dog with CBD
  5. A final note about how to calm an anxious dog

Article at a glance

  • Canine anxiety affects up to 70% of dogs around the world
  • Toys, aroma therapy, music, exercise, and supplements are great home remedies for dog anxiety
  • CBD shows promise as an all-natural way to calm down an anxious dog
  • Sme pets will require behavioral modification in addition to home remedies

Thunder, fireworks, gunshots – things that will leave you tearing your hair out wondering how to calm an anxious dog.  And due to a major language barrier, as pet owners we often don’t have a clue where to start or what to do when things get out of hand.

When it comes to this scenario, you are not alone. Many people experience the effects of dog anxiety, fear, or hyper excitement. For some, it’s as simple as watching their dog shiver or cower in the corner. For others, it means watching their beloved pet become destructive and uncontrollable. 

No matter which event started all the trouble, there are times when you need to know how to calm a dog down and how to do it fast!

A little bit about canine anxiety

Canine anxiety can manifest in a number of ways, some almost invisible and some are extremely disruptive. Many dogs will only show a mild increase in salivation or change in behavior; others may become self-harming.

Even trickier are dogs that become hyper-active, which seems like a positive, happy response when, in fact, they are just showcasing their high stress and anxiety. Owners often fail to recognize this sign of anxiety, dismissing it as just aggressive play.

As many as 70 percent of dogs experience some form of anxiety, according to research. That’s millions of dogs around the world, each with their own set of symptoms and triggers. 

How to calm an anxious dog: Top 5 home remedies

Favorite items: Is your dog extremely motivated by treats? Maybe he or she has a favorite toy. These daily obsessions can be an important part of how to calm an anxious dog. If you have the benefit of being home when your dog experiences a stressful event, reach for that bucket of treats, that food-oriented toy, or the favorite ball. Some dogs are so obsessed with their favorite things they go into tunnel vision, forgetting everything else. This is also a great way to condition your dog to self-treat when you aren’t home. Dogs that are very food oriented can be left with special food toys to help keep them distracted if something happens while you are away.

Lavender essential oil: The power of smell is often over looked, but there is a reason why this sense is so essential, particularly for animals. Research suggests how to calm and anxious dog may be as simple as using lavender essential oil for aroma therapy. Both topical application and application to the dog’s surroundings have been shown to help ease anxiety and hyper-excitement. Be careful when using essential oils, however, if not used correctly on the skin, they can be very irritating. Follow all dilution instructions and when in doubt, apply to the environment, not the pet directly.

Sound/Music therapy: “Music soothes the savage beast” is a common literary saying that has quite a bit of truth behind it. Just as we might enjoy listening to music when we need to relax and de-stress, so, too, can music be impactful on the lives of our dogs. If you want to know how to calm an anxious dog through the use of music and sound, look no further than your own television or stereo system. While most types of music can be effective for drowning out sounds that may cause anxiety, research shows classical music has the highest calming effects.

Exercise: Exercise seems to be part of the answer for almost every medical condition in both humans and animals, and that should hint at how important it is. Dogs need regular activity, and when they don’t get it, they can become anxious and stressed, particularly if they are high-energy breeds. Exercising your dog when he or she becomes anxious can help provide an outlet for stress. When it comes to how to calm an anxious dog, exercise is one of the easiest methods – and beneficial to both dogs and their owners.

Supplements: Not exactly something you brew in a pot at home, commercial supplements should still be considered “home remedies” because you don’t need to obtain a prescription to give them a try. There are a number of these products available. Many of these supplements focus on the ingredient melatonin, a hormone that promotes healthy sleep, while others include zylkene, a derivative of a milk protein that mimics the sleepiness dogs feel after nursing. CBD treats also are making a splash in the market as a viable method of how to calm a dog down with anxiety.

More about how to calm and anxious dog with CBD

CBD, (cannabidiol) has taken the veterinary world by storm in recent years. It is a non-hallucinogenic compound derived from hemp and cannabis plants, and when mixed with a carrier oil, it can become a powerful at-home treatment option for dog anxiety.

Preliminary research suggests CBD has strong promise as a calming agent. It is particularly useful for anxiety as early clinical studies show the compound binds to and activates serotonin receptors in the brain. This reaction triggers a mood-boosting effect and decreases how severe anxiety symptoms are when they appear.

As with any supplement, all dogs being put on a CBD regime should have a clean bill of health. CBD is an emerging therapy, and while it is undergoing studies, much is still being learned about correct dosages and desired effects.

A final note about how to calm an anxious dog

Canine anxiety affects more dogs than not, so it is important as a pet owner to be aware of your dog’s behaviors. Sometimes there is nothing that can be done to alleviate anxiety. Random, once-in-a-lifetime events can trigger stress responses before we know enough to try to prevent them.

More often than not, however, there are things that can be done to help keep your dog calmer when life gets overwhelming. Canine anxiety can be very complicated; it can be a mixture of triggers and sounds and people and places. Sometimes behavioral modification is the only way to address the core causes of anxiety.

If you feel your dog needs more help than you can provide through home remedies, seek a behavioral specialist who can teach you how to calm an anxious dog using long-term habit changes. Sometimes you’re the one who needs to make the adjustment, not your pet. 

Written by Mead Johnston

Mead is an experienced dog trainer, writer, and lover of animals. She has always been surrounded by animals and had a passion for learning more about them every day. This passion grew tremendously when Mead brought home a Great Pyrenees x Golden Retriever named Mac in 2018. Mead has continued to learn more about dogs whenever possible and wherever possible, while also helping so many wonderful clients. Her goal is help her clients and their dogs become confident in their daily lives. As a dog trainer, she often helps clients who are starting off with a puppy or they might have an older dog that is presenting challenging behaviours. Mead believes in the all-natural uses of Pet CBD to help our furry loved ones live longer, happier and healthier lives.

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