Dogs, like humans, get anxious. They sense a shift in their surroundings and respond according to their nature. Some canines are naturally laid back and can shake off the stress, with no problem. Others, however, internalize the anxiety and may shiver themselves into nervous collapse. Most veterinarians will offer a variety of medications to keep their patients on an even keel. The side effects of anti-anxiety medication may be worse than the symptoms of the condition. Natural alternatives may
produce stronger results with less strain on a dog’s internal organs.
The practice of aromatherapy is as old as the hills and may be quite effective. Lavender is the most recommended for a calm environment. Some other scents to play with are rose, bergamot, and sandalwood. It’s best to stick with essential oils in their purest form, heated with a diffuser. Air fresheners may contain other additives and won’t achieve the same results.
All hail the chamomile. Not only is this herb good for anxiety, it also is excellent at relieving gassiness, as an anti-inflammatory, good for cleaning wounds and getting rid of worms. Chamomile may be given as a tea or in a tincture. Another herbal alternative for a nervous pooch is oats. Add cooked oatmeal to a dog’s meal to ease the stress of their day. Lemon balm, an additional herbal supplement, reduces a dog’s excitability level from cartwheels to a low hum.
Sports coaches the world over have urged their players to run it out. There is a method to their sadistic madness. With exercise, endorphins are released, the mood elevates, and silliness falls by the wayside. Sometimes an anxious dog needs to get out and run the stress off.
Using one or a combination of the above suggestions may help a dog ease some of the anxiety they endure. Consulting with a certified, professional dog trainer may also help pave the way to a calmer home vibe. By talking with a trainer, they may pinpoint exactly what is stressing the dog out and offer suggestions and training on desensitization.