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How to Calm an Anxious Dog With Our Powerful Tips

Anxious Dog - Dog Calm

September

25

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When your dog starts getting anxious, it can be a real pain. They might start barking excessively, whining, and pacing around the house. Not only is this behavior inconvenient and disruptive, but it can also be dangerous if your dog starts getting aggressive.

There’s really nothing sadder than seeing your furry bestie in distress, so we’ve put together some powerful tips to help you calm an anxious dog.

You’ll be surprised at how quickly and easily you can get your pup back to their happy, relaxed self with just a few simple changes.

So read on, doggo-lover, and take note of our top tips to calm an anxious dog.

How to Calm Down a Hyper Dog

1. Give Your Pupperino Some Fresh Air

First and foremost, if your furry friend is feeling cooped up, one of the best things you can do is take them outside for a walk or to run around in the backyard.

Not only will this give them some much-needed exercise, but it will also help them to get rid of any extra energy that might make them anxious.

Stay outside with your dog and play with him for a while to really tire them out. This will make it easier for them to relax when you go back inside the house.

Dogs love to regularly monitor their territory, which can help to calm their nerves. So, if your dog is prone to anxiety, let them scan the perimeter of their home regularly so they know that everything is ok.

If you don’t have the time to take your hyperactive dog out regularly, ask a neighbor or hire a dog walker to help take some of the pressure off of you.

And if you’re wondering if you need to wrap them up to take them outside, read our article to find out if dogs need coats or sweaters to protect them when it’s cold.

2. Train Your Pupper

An anxious dog might not get enough mental stimulation, which can lead to all sorts of behavioral problems.

One of the best ways to keep your dog’s mind active and help them to feel calm is by teaching them some new tricks. Not only is this great for their mental health, but it’s also a lot of fun for both of you.

Start with some basic commands like sit, stay, come, and down. Once your dog has mastered these, you can move on to more difficult tricks.

Not only will training help to keep your dog’s mind active and entertained, but it will also give them a sense of purpose and build their confidence. And confident dogs are usually much less anxious than those who lack self-esteem.

Be consistent with your training sessions if you want to teach your dog effectively and help them to feel calm. Two to three sessions a week should be enough to see some real progress.

If you’re struggling to train your dog yourself, you can always hire a professional trainer or behaviorist to help you out.

3. Act Calm and Relaxed

One of the most important things to remember when trying to calm an anxious dog is that your own energy and behavior have a big impact on them.

If you’re feeling stressed, chances are your dog will pick up on it and start feeling anxious as well.

This means no yelling, no scolding, and no getting angry. It also means using a steady and soothing voice that will help to calm your dog’s nerves.

You should also try to keep your body language relaxed and open.

Remember, they’re not doing this on purpose to annoy you. They’re just responding to their own anxiety and fear.

If you can stay calm, it will help maintain a tranquil environment and they will eventually start to relax.

4. Find Toys That Keep Them Busy

Dog Playing with Toys

If your dog is prone to anxiety, it’s important to find toys and activities that will help keep their minds occupied and distracted.

This could be anything from a simple Kong toy filled with food to a more complex puzzle toy that takes them a while to figure out.

The key is to find something that will keep them engaged and mentally stimulated for a long period.

This will help to tire them out both mentally and physically, which will make it easier for them to relax and feel calm.

Check out some ideas to keep your pup busy in this other post.

5. Minimize Outside Distractions

Does your dog’s behavior change when cars drive by, packages come to the door, or people walk by on the street?

If so, your hyper dog is likely reacting to outside stimuli that are beyond their control.

To help minimize these distractions, you can close the curtains or blinds, turn on some white noise, or even put them in a room where they can’t see or hear what’s going on outside.

This will help to create a calm and quiet environment for your dog to relax in.

5. Frequent Dog Parks

If your pup gets along well with other dogs, one of the best ways to help them burn off some excess energy and calm their nerves is by taking them to the dog park on a regular basis.

Socialization is a big way that dogs can reduce their anxiety, and the dog park is the perfect place for them to interact with other pups.

Just be sure to keep an eye on them at all times and to remove them from the situation if they start to get too overwhelmed or stressed. If your dog is already anxious, a crowded dog park may not be the best place for them.

However, exposure therapy can promote calm behavior over time.

6. Set Up an Area Just for Your Doggerino

Just like humans, our doggos love to have their own space that they can retreat to when they need some time alone.

This could be a dog bed in the corner of your room or even just a blanket that they can lay on.

Choose a dog bed that is comfortable, durable, and easy to clean.

Place their bed in a quiet area of the house where they can feel safe and relaxed. Add toys, bones, and dog treats to make it an inviting space for your pup.

This will be their safe haven that they can go to when they need a break from the world.

7. Crate Train Your Four-Legged Friend

Crates aren’t just for time-outs. They’re actually one of the most effective ways to calm down hyperactive dogs and can be a real relief if your pupper is stressing out and can’t relax.

It’s important to make sure that the crate is the right size for your dog and that it’s comfortable with a soft bed or blanket inside. You can also place a blanket on the outside of the crate to help muffle any outside noise.

The key is to make sure that the crate is a safe and calming place for your pup to retreat to when they need some time alone.

You should also never use a crate as a punishment. Instead, make it a positive experience by being upbeat and rewarding him with treats when he goes inside.

Crate training can take some time, but it’s worth having a calm and happy dog.

8. Keep an Eye on Your Doggie When You’re Away

Two-Way Pet Camera - Dog Calm
Credit: PetChatz

High-energy dogs will often become more anxious when their owners leave. Separation anxiety is a real problem for many dogs, and it can be tough to manage.

In order to understand what triggers your dog’s anxiety, it’s important to document their behavior when you’re away.

Do they bark excessively? Destroy things in the house? Have accidents? Or just pace back and forth anxiously?

Once you know what their behaviors are, you can work on addressing them. For example, if your dog barks when someone walks in front of the house, you can close the curtains or put them in a room where they can’t see outside. Also, check out our article on how to stop your dog from jumping on people.

Using a pet camera to monitor your dog’s behavior when you’re away can be helpful for checking in. This way, you can see what they’re doing and how they’re reacting to being alone. Some of these cameras even have features such as treat dispensers and 2-way microphones, so you may be able to calm your pup down from afar.

9. Help Your Dog Calm Down With Music

It’s long been known that music is a therapeutic art form for humans. But did you know that it can also help calm down a hyper dog as well?

There are now many different kinds of music specifically designed to help soothe anxious dogs. This type of music is typically slower and has a lower pitch, which can help to relax your pup’s mind and body.

You can find this kind of music online for free on YouTube or Spotify, or you can purchase it from companies such as Through a Dog’s Ear.

Playing music for your dog when they’re feeling anxious can help to calm them down and make them feel more relaxed.

It can also help your pup to create positive associations with music. For example, if every time the music plays, they get a treat, they’ll start to associate the music with something positive.

10. Try Using a Calming Vest

Jack Russell Wearing Calming Vest

calming vest is a type of dog clothing that is designed to help soothe anxious dogs. These vests work by applying gentle pressure to your dog’s body, which has a calming effect. There is proof that these vests can help to reduce stress and eventually help your dog to feel more relaxed.

You can find calming vests online or at your local pet store. They come in a variety of sizes, so be sure to measure your dog before purchasing one.

11. Have a Cuddle Session with Your Pup

Sometimes, the best way to calm an anxious dog is simply to show them some love. Dogs are social creatures, and they crave physical contact with their owners.

So, if your pup is feeling anxious, try giving them a good cuddle session. This will help to reassure them and make them feel safe. You can also try massaging their ears, paws, or back to help relieve some tension they may be carrying.

If your dog can fit in your lap, that’s even better. But, if they’re too big, you can simply sit next to them and pet them until they start to calm down.

12. Try a Natural Supplement

There are now many different kinds of natural supplements that can help to calm a hyper dog. These supplements typically contain herbal ingredients that are safe for over-the-counter use. But before you give your doggerino any kind of supplement, it’s important to speak with your veterinarian first. You want to make sure that your dog doesn’t have an allergy or sensitivity to any of the ingredients.

13. Avoid Using Punishment

Dog Punishment

Many owners can get frustrated when their hyper dog won’t calm down. This could result in them using punishment as a way to try and get their dog to behave. But this is not an effective method and will only make your pup’s anxiety worse.

Punishing your dog for being anxious will only serve to increase their fear and stress levels. It can also damage the bond between you and your furry friend. So, it’s important to avoid using any kind of punishment when dealing with an anxious dog.

14. Give Them Time to Adjust

If you’ve just adopted a dog, it’s important to give them time to adjust to their new environment. It can take some dogs a while to feel comfortable in their new home. So, it’s important to be patient and give them the time they need to adjust.

Especially if your hyperactive dog is a puppy, the situation isn’t going to resolve itself overnight. But with consistent efforts each day, you can help your new pup to feel more relaxed and eventually work their way out of their anxiety.

15. Seek Professional Help

If you’ve tried all of these methods and your dog is still struggling with anxiety, it may be time to seek professional help. There are now many dog trainers and behaviorists that specialize in helping anxious dogs. They can help you to identify the root cause of your pup’s anxiety and come up with a treatment plan.

If you decide to go this route, it’s important to find a professional that you feel comfortable with. You want someone who is experienced in dealing with anxious dogs and who uses positive reinforcement methods.

When looking for a professional, you can ask your veterinarian for recommendations or search online for dog trainers in your area.

Why is My Dog So Overly Hyper?

In order to calm your dog, it’s important to know why they’re feeling anxious in the first place. There are many different reasons that dogs can become hyperactive and stressed.

Some common causes of anxiety in dogs include:

1. Your Pup’s Breed

Some dog breeds are more prone to anxiety than others. This is due to their genetics and may have a lasting impact on their personalities, but you can help to mitigate it with the right training and socialization.

Some of the most common anxious dog breeds include:

  • German Shepherds
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Beagles
  • Cocker Spaniels
  • Bichon Frises
  • Shih Tzus
  • Poodles
  • Boxers
  • Vizslas
  • Dalmatians
  • Border Collie

If your dog is of one of these breeds, it’s important to start training and socialization early on. This will help your pup to feel more comfortable in new situations and less likely to become anxious.

2. Your Dog Had a Traumatic Past

Dog at Shelter

Unfortunately, hyper dogs are often the result of a traumatic past. If your dog was abused or neglected, they may be more prone to anxiety and fear.

Dogs that come from shelters or rescue organizations are also more likely to have anxiety issues. This is because they may have experienced a lot of changes in their life and may not have had a stable home environment.

If your dog has a traumatic past, it’s important to be patient and understanding. They may never be comfortable in certain situations or around certain people. But with time and patience, you can help them to feel more relaxed and safe.

3. Poor Training and Socialization

Dogs that haven’t been properly trained or socialized are more likely to become anxious. This includes dogs that don’t get outside often, don’t get to spend time with other pups, and have never learned any rules such as “sit” or “stay.”

If your dog falls into this category, it’s important to start training and socialization as soon as possible. The sooner you start, the easier it will be for your pup to learn. Puppies, in particular, are very receptive to training and socialization.

But even older dogs can learn new tricks. It may just take a little longer.

4. Little to No Exercise

Dogs that don’t get enough physical exercise are also more likely to become anxious. This is because they have a lot of energy that needs to be released. Without an outlet for this energy, it can build up and lead to stress and anxiety.

If your dog isn’t getting enough exercise, it’s important to start slowly and increase the amount of time you’re walking or playing each day. You don’t want to overwhelm your pup, but you do want to give them a chance to burn off some energy.

Let your dog sniff around and explore. A dog’s nose is incredibly sensitive and they can smell things that we can’t even imagine. Allowing them to take their time and sniff to their heart’s content is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety.

5. Your Dog is Young

The most obvious reason you may have a hyperactive dog is that they’re young. Puppies are full of energy and they often don’t know how to channel it in a constructive way.

This is normal puppy behavior and it will eventually subside as your pup grows older and learns how to better control their energy. In the meantime, you can help by providing them with plenty of physical exercise, training, and love.

What is a Natural Sedative for a Dog?

Many people opt to use natural supplements for hyper dogs. Not every dog will respond to supplements in the same way, but it’s definitely worth a try if you’re looking for a more natural option.

Some of the most common natural sedatives for dogs include:

  • Valerian Root: This is a common herbal remedy that has been used for centuries to treat anxiety and insomnia. It’s thought to work by increasing levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain, which has a calming effect.
  • Chamomile: This popular herb is often used as a tea to help with anxiety and stress. It’s thought to work in a similar way to Valerian Root, by increasing levels of GABA in the brain.
  • L-Theanine: This is an amino acid found in green tea. It’s thought to have calming and relaxing properties.
  • Melatonin: This is a hormone that helps to regulate sleep. It’s often used as a natural remedy for insomnia and can also be helpful for anxiety.
  • CBD oil: This is a natural remedy that is derived from the hemp plant. It is effective in promoting relaxation as well as reducing inflammation and pain.

When giving your dog any of these supplements, it’s important to start with a small dose and increase gradually as needed. You should also talk to your veterinarian before starting any new supplements, just to be sure they’re safe for your pup.

Do Calming Toys Work for Dogs?

Indy with Puzzle

Calming toys, such as puzzle toys and Kongs, can be a great way to help an anxious dog. These toys provide a means of mental stimulation that can help to ease anxiety.

Puzzle toys are designed to challenge your dog’s mind and keep them occupied. They typically involve getting a treat or toy out of a difficult-to-open container. This can help to redirect your dog’s focus from whatever is causing their anxiety and onto something more positive.

If your dog has anxiety, you will need to be careful and make sure to always supervise them when playing. This is because hyperactive dogs have excessive energy and can over-chew or destroy toys very easily.

Some companies make durable puzzle toys that are specifically designed for heavy chewers. Others make plush toys without stuffing so that there is no risk of your dog swallowing anything they shouldn’t.

Teething toys are a great choice for puppies who are anxious or teething. These toys are designed to help soothe a puppy’s gums and ease the discomfort of teething.

They are typically made from soft rubber or silicone and have a variety of textures to help massage your pup’s gums.

No matter what type of toy you choose, it’s important to make sure it’s age and size appropriate for your dog.

What are Signs of Anxiety In a Dog?

Scared Dog Under Sofa

All dogs get hyper once in a while. But if you notice consistent anxious behavior, it might be time to take a deeper look into what’s going on.

Here are some common signs of anxiety in dogs:

  • Panting or shaking: Dogs normally pant when it’s hot out, but it’s also a sign of anxiety. If your dog is shaking or has his tail between his legs, this also indicates that your doggo is stressed.
  • Hiding or cowering: When a dog feels unsafe, it will often try to hide or make itself small. If you notice your dog doing this, it’s a sign that they’re feeling anxious.
  • Excessive chewing or licking: This is a common coping mechanism for dogs when they’re feeling anxious. Chewing and licking can help to soothe them and give them something to do when they don’t have another stimulus nearby.
  • Barking or howling excessively: This behavior is common when a dog has separation anxiety and their owner leaves them home alone.
  • Digging or scratching: This can be a sign of boredom, but it can also indicate that your dog is feeling anxious. If your dog is digging in the yard, they probably feel alone and need someone else to play with.
  • Pacing: This is another common behavior in dogs with anxiety. Pacing can help to ease their anxiety and give them something to do.
  • Eating grass: This is a weird one, but some dogs eat grass when they’re feeling anxious. It’s thought that the grass helps to soothe their stomach or calm their nerves.
  • Attempting to escape: This is a common behavior in dogs who are anxious. If your dog is trying to escape from the house or yard, they probably feel like they’re in danger and need to get away.

If you notice any of these behaviors in your dog, it’s important to talk to your veterinarian. They can help you identify the cause of the anxiety and come up with a treatment plan.

The Bottom Line

Calming an anxious dog can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. With patience, consistency, and the right methods, you can help your furry friend to feel more relaxed and build their confidence.

Do you have any other tips for calming an anxious dog? Let us know in the comments below!

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About the Author

Alex 

I’m Alex and I’ve always wanted the best for my pupper Indy, so she could have a healthy and happy life. I’m pretty sure this also applies to you and your doggie, otherwise you wouldn’t have made it to the end of this post.

I started Pampered Puppers as a family-owned business, based in Australia, to help all dog lovers around the world achieve this easily. So that’s our mission, to help improve your dog’s safety and quality of life with entertaining and helpful articles via our blog 🐶

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