Dogs are wonderfully intelligent and loving animals. We bring them into our families and adjust our daily lives to ensure they are safe and well taken care of. Sometimes it is hard to adjust when a dog has anxiety. Just take a look at what we, as dog owners, can do to help them relax and give us peace of mind.
Symptoms of Anxiety:
- Heavy Panting and Shaking
- Excessive Licking
These are just some symptoms that you may see your dog exhibiting if they have anxiety.
We rescued our dog from a Humane Society and he had extreme anxiety. Here are a few things that we had to endure and also what we worked on to ensure he knows we love him, he is safe and we will never leave him.
Trigger came into our family and we were first time (dog) parents. We went to the store and got EVERYTHING "dog". Our house exploded with dog toys, beds, treats, food bowls and many more items that we bought out of excitement.
We thought it was going to be an easy transition, but boy were we wrong. Trigger was a great dog, he was house broken, sweet with children and other dogs, loved to cuddle and had a healthy appetite. We didn't know about his anxiety until we both left the house. The first time we left, he chewed through his lease and tore up his bed. We were quite surprised the damage he had done while we took a short trip to the grocery store. Since we knew he couldn't be left in the house alone, we bought a kennel. We purchased the standard kennel, thin black metal with a plastic bottom. It was my birthday, so we went out to celebrate. We put some toys and treats in the kennel and headed out for dinner. We weren't gone for but 2 hours and we came home to tiny little plastic pieces dispersed all over the tile floor. We couldn't believe it. We were not only relieved that he didn't hurt himself, but also quite impressed by his doings.
We wanted to figure out a new method of keeping him sane and happy at home, so we put a long leash near the entry way with all his comforts near. It went well for a few weeks until one day we came home and the carpet on our stairs was torn to shreds. Man did Trigger continued to surprise us! Don't worry, the plot thickens.
Being that we had just bought a house with a big yard, we thought Trigger would love to enjoy the beautiful outdoors. Again--we tested Trigger. Again-- he 'surprised' us with what he was capable of. He tore apart our outdoor furniture, tore down our outdoor lighting, knocked down our plants and dug holes in the yard.
- When Trigger decided he was going to show us who's 'boss'
- The moment we knew we had to re-carpet our stairs
- Our back patio after leaving Trigger outside to 'enjoy' the outdoors
Trigger made his bed explode and then napped on it :)
We finally knew he had full-blown separation anxiety. Here is how we dealt with it:
- Read and watched videos to learn how to deal with anxiety.
- Found homeopathic calming drops.
- Trained him to enjoy his kennel and rewarded him when he was good.
- Used repetitious actions to train him.
- Created scenarios of us leaving, watched his reactions and trained him to not worry.
- Didn't make a big deal when we returned home, so he didn't get excited. Just went about our tasks for a few minutes until we paid attention to him. Thus, feeling like we never left.
- Happy Mr. Trigger with Mom, Sheree
- Trigger with his Grandparents (owners of Voyagers K9 Apparel)
We hope this can help your dog's anxiety! Don't give up and know they every dog is different and deserves a chance. You can do it!