Health & Hygiene

Natural Remedies For Canine Anxiety

Written by Nancy Boland

Every dog is different so if one of these natural remedies isn’t working for your anxious dog, try another one! Pick and choose natural remedies as you find out what helps with your dog’s anxiety.

Obedience Training

Training gives your anxious dog focus, energy exertion and confidence. Whether you choose to train your dog yourself or get advice from a trainer, it can be exceptionally beneficial to your dog’s state of mind. It can take a few months to see results, but gradual improvements will occur, and the long-term benefits for you and your dog are well worth it.

Exercise

The less nervous energy your dog has the less anxious they will be. Make sure you stick to a routine daily with some sort of exercise plan in mind for your dog. This can be anything but bear in mind your dogs abilities and even natural breed traits. For example; if you have a very active, athletic type breed you can try mind-based activities like agility. You can go running, play catch or entertain your dog with training games. Sometimes just a good long walk is just what’s needed.  Talk to your vet if you’re unsure of what kind of exercise your dog will benefit from. Some breeds love to run, but others, like pugs or French bulldogs can overheat easily and need a lower-maintenance exercise routine or one that is spaced out more.

Essential Oils

Essential oils will never be a complete cure-all for your dog’s anxiety, but every little helps and relaxing essential oils like lavender, can help improve mood. Add a few drops onto your dogs’ collar so they can smell it, but wills still avoid licking it.

Rescue Remedy

Rescue Remedy is a blend of flower extracts, and they make blends for pets and for humans. A few drops added to your dogs’ water bowel or to one of their favourite snacks can be of considerable help. Opinions on rescue remedy are controversial, with many believing the effects to be purely a placebo effect when taken by humans, but many swear by the relaxing qualities of the remedy during periods of stress for your dog, for example, during a thunderstorm or fireworks.

Focus Toys

Redirecting your dog’s attention when they’re feeling anxious can really help them. Try giving your dog a toy that will really distract them. There are puzzle toys, a Kong toy  filled with their favourite treat or simply just a good rawhide bone that will keep them occupied.

Keep Calm

When your dog is scared, monitor how you react. Do you put on an overly affectionate, somewhat unnatural tone of voice? This is a normal reaction, but it’s actually not the best one when your dog is scared. If your dog notices your change in reaction they could react by getting even more worried and anxious.

Next time your dog is anxious, try to react as if everything is normal. You can touch them, but try not to make a big deal out of the situation.

Safe Place

For an anxious dog, having a safe place they can retreat to can make all the difference. For your dog, this could be found through crate training or simply by just creating a quiet, calm space in the house that is private to your dog. When there’s a thunderstorm, or anxiety trigger for your dog, they can often just want to disappear to this safe place. Dogs in general really enjoy having a cosy, comfortable space they can relax in.

About the author

Nancy Boland

I'm Nancy, owner of a very spoiled, one eyed Jack Russell called Basil. I'm a trainee veterinarian with a love for all things dogs. I'm especially passionate about dog adoption and always advocate rescue and enjoy writing about canine health and nutrition, alongside overall well-being tips for happy dogs!