Sometimes our dogs pace the room while heavily panting, yawning, or even whining. During these moments, your pup may come to you for extra love or could hide somewhere in the home. These behaviors are common displays of canine anxiety, a common issue dogs can experience for many reasons. As a fellow pet parent, I’ve created this list of tips for reducing a dog’s stress levels so that y’all can keep your pooches happy!
Make Time for Exercise
Exercise enriches your dog’s mind and body by providing an outlet for excess energy. Every breed has different workout requirements based on average energy levels. For instance, boxers are an active breed; most experts recommend at least two hours of exercise daily. Alternatively, beagles generally need an hour of exercise each day.
Going for daily walks, hikes, or a good old-fashioned game of fetch gets your dog’s heart pumping. In addition to burning off energy, exercise helps release endorphins, increasing feelings such as joy and relaxation.
By going for a walk, y’all get in some exercise, too, which helps with your stress levels! Strive to get out and explore with your dog each morning or evening.
Give Them a Dedicated Space
Usually, when we feel stressed out or tired, we go to our room or another cozy nook in the house. Our dogs also need a space that’s theirs, such as a bed or kennel. In the canine mind, this space is similar to a den where their wolf ancestors would go to hide.
A key part of this tip for reducing your dog’s anxiety is to respect the space you’ve given your pup. Never use your dog’s bed as a cushion to sit on, and don’t let children play with the crate. Crossing these boundaries can confuse your dog or cause an aggressive reaction because they see the space as their territory.
Alter Their Diet
Diet can impact anxious behaviors, and certain foods can help cultivate feelings of calmness. If your dog constantly seems stressed, talk to the vet about the best probiotics for canine health. Specific probiotic strains such as BL999 often help reduce stress levels. While some probiotic-rich human foods are safe for dogs, you can also purchase powder toppers designed for pups.
If you add supplements to your dog’s diet, do so with advice from the vet. A professional will know the appropriate amount of supplement your pooch needs based on their breed, size, and weight.
Understand Their Triggers
Above all else, I think one of the most important things we can do as pet owners is understand our dog’s stressors. Some pups fear thunderstorms, while others don’t mind. Likewise, your dog may stick to you like Velcro when you’re about to leave the house, but another may run to hide. By understanding what stresses your dog out and the best remedy to keep your dog’s stress levels low, you can keep your pup’s tail wagging more often!