How to Help with a Dog’s Mental Health

Written By Alla Levin
May 12, 2021
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How to Help with a Dogs Mental Health

Mental health is not confined to humans because it can affect dogs too. A dog can become suddenly anxious for no reason that immediately seems apparent, and it is for an owner to establish why and then prevent the distress. This article will consider the question, why is my dog anxious all of a sudden? If we can answer this question, then we can develop a better understanding as owners about how to help our dogs with their mental health.

What are the Signs that Your Dog is Feeling Anxious?

When dogs suddenly destroy things inside the home or soil it, they are feeling anxious. It is a clue that they are upset or spooked by something. They are not feeling themselves. It is useful because they reach out to us as their owner and alert us to something they cannot otherwise make us understand. A series of barks can be heard by us but is not always a clue to their feelings.

So, when you are buying a new pair of slippers, spare a thought for just why your dog destroyed your old pair. It was not necessarily just an act of devilment to seek attention but about seeking attention because your dog felt anxious.

Reasons for a Dog Suddenly Feeling Anxiousdogs mental health

Older dogs that suddenly become anxious might be suffering from cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS). They can, because of suffering from this, develop new fears that were not there before. In addition, the syndrome will make dogs feel confused about what is going on.

If you move a dog’s sleeping area or move house, it can leave your dog feeling unsettled and so anxious. Dogs like to feel content, and they achieve this through familiarity with their surroundings and closeness to their owner.

Fireworks and loud noises can result in a dog feeling anxious. Comfort them more in these situations. Keep them inside and close to you.

How to Help Your Dog with Anxiety

You can stroke and comfort your dog more often to relieve their anxiety. To help deal with it at night, you can make sure that they have used sufficient energy in the daytime to sleep more at night and the time you do. With younger dogs, perhaps take them on an extra walk in the evening. Share walking your dog with other family members so that you have enough time collectively to give your dog some extra attention.

Separation anxiety can be dealt with by exercising your dog. Every moment you spend with them is a moment when their anxiety is eased. So much of the excitement from a dog about going for a walk is about having the individual attention from its owner.

Massage your dog by gently caressing its face. This is very relaxing for them. Stroking them is more about lowering your blood pressure. Dogs do like physical contact, though. They like to feel mothered. You are now their mother and should continue that role.

Many dogs will benefit from music therapy. Music therapy works with pets because all animals are tuned into sensory cues. These sensory cues are sounds. The music played by you will send sound waves or vibrations that are then processed by your dog’s brain. This then creates a response that can result in a range of physiological changes in your dog. It is certainly not to be dismissed as a way of calming your dog and stopping them from experiencing sudden moments of anxiety. Ater music therapy will feel more relaxed about everything they face and feel like they have a dog’s life.

Encourage lots of visitors to keep your dog happy. You will see from the wag of their tale how much they enjoy familiar people visiting them—particularly relatives who will be sure to make a fuss of your dog and make them feel loved.

Dogs Mental Health

To conclude, we should know the signs that our dog is anxious, what causes them to be this way, and then look to how we can help our dog with their mental health. There is much that can be done to make a dog feel happier within its home environment. You owe it to your dog to make them feel a part of the family. Avoid dog kennels outside that isolate them. Together you can improve the mental health and physical fitness of both of you.

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