Humans are more similar to dogs than you might think. We are all wired differently and we all have our own personalities, including our own levels of anxiety. And for dogs and for people, different environmental triggers can increase or decrease our level of anxiety.
Let’s look at some of the common causes of anxiety and why you would want to consider giving your dog a sedative.
Let’s face it. Some dogs just have too much energy. No matter how much they play or exercise, their endless enthusiasm never seems to run out. While that can be great for marathoners or dog sled contests, too much energy in a normal home can become dangerous and manifest itself as anxiety if all that high energy cannot be burned off. As many mothers have said, “there’s a time and a place for everything” and sometimes too much of something is not necessarily a good thing. For those dogs where exercise and other tricks have not worked or who are just super anxious, sometimes giving them a sedative can help to lessen unwanted behavior and lift your dog’s spirits.
Many times, dogs can be in pain and thereby an outcome of this is exhibited by displaying anxious behavior. This pain can be from a specific accident or condition they have or perhaps it is from constant pain that they are experiencing that we are unaware of. The easier diagnosis is when your dog had surgery or injured themselves or is having mobility issues. This type of pain is easier to identify in your dog because we can see it clearly. It can be the lessor known internal issues that are causing your dog pain, which is much more difficult to identify. Sometimes these pains manifest themselves by showing minor or no symptoms at all. For example, your dog may get a crusty nose because they are having digestive issues. Or a dog can have internal inflammation or morning stiffness that can indicate mobility issues. Sometimes a dog with this type of pain will be fine for part of the day, but then experience more pain later and become irritable or cranky.
Sometimes dog owners have the challenging task of owning an aggressive dog. Aggression in dogs can be caused by a traumatic experience, underlying and sometimes undetected pain, or just plain personality. Most aggressive dogs display a level of anxiety because their aggression is masking their fear or condition. Regardless of the cause of the aggression, controlling and making sure your dog is happy can be challenging to say the least. Strong leash pulling, unprovoked attacks on humans or other dogs and just plain unruliness are behaviors that no dog owner wants to see their pet exhibit.
Environmental triggers can also cause anxiety in dogs. Examples of this include 4th of July fireworks, a car ride to the vet, a thunderstorm, separation anxiety, a dog fight and anything else that can cause stress in your dog. The better we understand our dog the better we can anticipate such environmental triggers, but there is no way to remove all triggers or anticipate every trigger for your dog.
Things to try before giving a sedative
Before giving your dog a sedative to help address their anxiety, there are a few things you can consider trying first.
Exercise your dog
A tired dog is often the best kind of dog but getting them to that state is not always possible. If you have the time and luxury to run or play with your dog, enough to tire them out, that can sometimes help to lessen the unwanted behavior you are trying to remove. Making sure your dog is well exercised every day can help to reduce excess energy levels and also keep your dog less anxious. And if you don’t have time, consider hiring a dog walker or sending your dog to daycare.
Make your dog’s environment comfortable
Try making your dog’s environment more comfortable by removing any triggers that can cause them anxiety. This can be things like open windows, loud noises, other dogs or people and more. While we cannot control the unexpected, we can try to do our part to create a comfortable environment where our dogs sleep or spend the most time. You can also try to add soft touches where you can. For example, consider keeping the lights low, adding low-key music, making sure your dog has their favorite bed, pillow, toy or lovie, and anything else that you know can ease your dog’s anxiety.
Give your dog a sedative
When you’ve tried all options and need more help to reduce your dog’s anxiety, giving your dog a sedative might help. There will be times in the dog’s life when you simply can’t help them using the above tactics and a sedative is your best option. On such occasions, consider giving your dog PetSoothe’s Calm formula to help lessen unwanted behaviors, to lift your dog’s spirits, and to promote a calm and relaxed mood. Our Calm formula is a delicious, all-natural and organic peanut butter crunch flavored treat that contains valerian root and 10mg of organically certified CBD.