Maybe your sweet pup is a rescue and experienced some type of trauma or abuse, maybe he didn't receive proper socialization, or maybe he's just a timid little guy to begin with.
Whether it’s the summer thunderstorms, bath-time, past abuse triggers, or even everyday objects like vacuums - have you noticed anything that triggers fear or anxiety in your pets? As caring pet parents, no one likes to watch their little pup tremble with fear. So what can you do?
Watch Your Dog’s Body Language
The first step in easing your dog’s anxiety is to get to know your sweet pup. Understanding how your furry companion communicates will help you know when your dog is afraid or being triggered. Signs of nervousness include quivering, whining, tail tucked beneath the back legs, even licking paws excessively. Every dog is different and special so while understanding basic dog body language is important, it’s essential to pick up on the little tells your own dog has.
Get to the Root of the Issue
Sometimes dogs are afraid because of past negative experiences. Is a current circumstance triggering your dog’s fears? Or is she maybe sick? If trembling is persistent even in the absence of thunderstorms, or if your dog keeps licking his paws consistently, it might be a good idea to check in with your vet and ask about allergies or illness.
Calm Your Pet
While some triggers can be relieved after some time and patient training, your dog may have fears that never completely go away. Avoid harsh triggers when possible – maybe don’t take your rescue pup to a fireworks show – but when everyday circumstances cause anxiety, here are some tricks for calming your little pal.
- Snuggle Up! Snuggling your pup is a great stress relief for you, and the same is true for him! Gentle pats and snuggles can help reassure your pup that he has nothing to worry about.
- Get Outside! Exercise is a great way to work off excess energy. A good run or an afternoon of playtime outside can help your dog sleep better at night; just remember that sometimes a tired dog is a happy dog. Time at the dog park is another good way to get some exercise and maybe make a new friend or two! Learn more about proper socializing while social distancing here!
- Play a Game! Distraction methods are another way to handle your dog’s fears; teach her that the vacuum means treats, bath time can be fun, and thunderstorms mean snuggle time! A few special toys or treats can do wonders to ease a stressful situation. Check out our online store to have treats and toys delivered conveniently to your front door!
**Note: If your dog struggles to interact with other dogs, it may not be best to introduce toys in the situation as dogs can become possessive; opt for other distracting and happy alternatives.