How to Calm Dog Anxiety

During the winter months, when it’s always raining, my yellow Labrador has fairly constant anxiety. The sound of thunder breaking outside is enough to send him into a panic attack. His anxiety manifests as physical symptoms: shaking, crying, and hiding under the bed, the covers, etc.

Luckily, after years of having our dog, we’ve discovered a few ways to reduce his anxiety so that we can sleep soundly during a storm.

These tips can work in any event that your dog becomes anxious.

Physical Activity

If you can get your dog outside and run before the storm rolls in (or any other anxiety trigger), you’re likely to wear him out by the time the lightning strikes. A tired dog makes for a more relaxed dog, one who’s more apt to lay on the floor and withstand the noise instead of pacing the room. If you’re already stuck indoors, try walking through the house with him or gently throwing a toy. Eventually, he will get tired.

Establish a Norm

Giving your dog a regular routine is great, but if she tears up the blinds every time you go out for date night, you need to make some sort of change. Start leaving her alone for short periods during the day, or placing her in a specific area of the house where she is only allowed to be when you’re gone. That way you can ease her into a new procedure. Giving her a treat every time you leave may do the trick, or have a neighbor drop by mid-day to check on her.

Alternatives

Of course, anxiety medication is also an option for when your dog's anxiety becomes too much and his uncontrollable shaking or whimpering can’t be tamed. A veterinarian can prescribe these medications if necessary; don’t try any drugs out on your own. Holding your dog or getting him a cozy place to rest during these anxiety attacks is also a nice way to calm him down.

Photo: Pexels

Anxiety Support Groups

More Articles

Here comes that dreaded feeling of overwhelm.

It is not just that you have a lot to do. In fact, you may not have that much to do, but your...

If you experience anxiety in various unfamiliar situations, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that 40 million Americans suffer from situational...

Supervisors who demean, insult, or otherwise abuse their employees may simply not be getting enough exercise. A new study from Northern Illinois...

A couple dozen people are waiting to board a plane, and at the last minute the flight is delayed...

One person immediately runs up to the...

There is no one cause for anxiety but several factors that contribute to its development. Scientists have broken them down into three parts: brain...

More Articles

Catastrophe anxiety, or put just as well, catastrophic thinking, is a kind of anxiety disorder defined in Psychology Today as "ruminating about...

Everyone experiences mild anxiety from time to time. Occasional stress over work and family obligations is a normal part of life, as is anxiety...

Vivactil (generic protriptyline hydrochloride) is a tricyclic antidepressant approved by the FDA to treat depression in adults (age 18 and over)....

Librium, known generically as chlordiazepoxide, is a benzodiazepine used to relieve anxiety and to control the agitation that is a side effect of...

Medications are an important tool for people dealing with anxiety, but most experts agree that they are best used as a short-term solution for...

Why is this medication prescribed?

Prozac or Fluoxetine is an antidepressant (mood elevator) and is used to treat depression, obsessive-...

The antidepressant doxepin (originally marketed by Pfizer under the brand name Sinequan) is a tricyclic antidepressant approved to treat anxiety...

Controlling stress and anxiety could lead to a reduction in the number of hot or cold flashes. Hot flashes also include sweaty palms. The more...

Stressful life events are difficult for everyone, but they can be especially hard on those who already have an anxiety disorder. A recent study...

Social Anxiety Disorder, sometimes called Social Phobia or SAD, involves anxiety and an overwhelming constant self-consciousness in everyday...

There are several ways right in your home to lift your spirits, reduce anxiety, and invite more restful sleep. Based on my own experiences and...

Sinequan, an antidepressant marketed by Pfizer and known generically as doxepin, is most often used to treat depression, anxiety disorders, and...

Making deep emotional connections with family and friends reduces stress, creates happiness, and can actually keep you healthier. In other words,...

Anxiety develops after an extended period of stress, usually six months or longer. When you suffer from an anxiety disorder, it can severely...

Uncontrollable shaking can happen when your arms, hands, legs and even your entire body may feel shaky or like they are trembling.

Some...