Whether it be a naturally shy personality, external factors or mistreatment and trauma in the past, all doggos experience nerves and anxiety at times, just like us humans.
What Might Be Causing Your Dog’s Nerves?
Just like people do, dogs often react to stressful situations. Because our fur babies are so intuitive and tuned into the humans and emotions around them, they are often hypersensitive to stress, anxiety and nerves. Dogs also react to different scenarios and surroundings in their own way. Below are some examples of factors which may be contributing to your dog’s nerves:
- Change in environment: a lot of doggos are afraid of drastic changes in the weather and climate, particularly thunder and lightning storms or heavy rainfall. Another change in the environment which can affect your fur baby’s mood is moving to a new house.
- Loud or unfamiliar noise: This is perhaps one of the most common causes of nerves in dogs, from hair dryers and vacuum cleaners to fireworks, any number of sounds could be making your doggo jumpy.
- Separation: While it’s naturally understood amongst humans that we all have to go to work or school and have lives outside of our homes, we have no way of explaining this to our pets. Often our dogs don’t understand why we leave them alone for long periods of time, so they will bark and whimper and become anxious.
- Travelling: Like some people, some dogs really don’t like travelling. Dogs can often become nervous and twitchy when they can anticipate that a journey is about to happen whether it be in a car, a train, a plane or any other form of transport.
Regardless of the reasons behind your dog’s nerves, there are always ways to soothe and relax your fur baby. Below are 5 of the best tips and tricks to try on your nervous dogs:
Just like in humans, exercise is an excellent natural remedy for your dogs’ nerves and anxiety. Exercise releases good endorphins which boost you and your dog’s mood as well as helping to establish a hormonal equilibrium. If your dog is feeling anxious or seems jumpy, take him or her out for a nice long walk or jog and some fresh air.
Heaps of studies have shown that playing classical music is super relaxing for your doggo. In fact, there are now audio programs explicitly made for the wellbeing and longevity of dogs. One study conducted by a veterinary neurologist showed that 70% of the dogs in a kennel became calmer, immediately after listening to simplified piano and trio music at 50-60 beats per minute. Next time your dog seems a bit overwhelmed, pull up some classical music on YouTube, and you’re likely to see a significant shift in their mood.
Gradual and Positive Exposure
If your dog is afraid of a specific object, place or noise, you can try to gradually expose your fur baby to the item in question over time. For example, approach from a distance and slowly get one step closer each day. It’s essential to make this a gradual process as forcing your dog to do too much too soon may cause their fear to become stronger. As your doggo makes progress, reward him or her with treats to create an environment of positive reinforcement.
By now, we’ve established how similar dogs are to humans, especially in the way they feel emotions. The same way that most of us humans enjoy a good massage, a canine massage is a really great way to get your fur baby to relax and overcome their nerves. You can either learn how to give these massages yourself or look for clinics and classes nearby. Depending on how nervous your dog is, they may find it difficult to allow you or somebody else to touch them enough to give them a massage, but if you just try to ease your dog into it, they will quickly realise how relaxing this experience is.
Dogs are incredibly perceptive when it comes to reading the humans around them, and when it comes to their owners, the chances are that they’ve perfected their ability to read your moods and emotions. If you are often anxious, nervous or stressed out, your doggo will pick up your energy. Remember to take deep breaths before interacting with your fur baby and don’t make frantic and jarring movements or gestures. What’s more, if you are facing a situation or environment which you know stresses you out, make sure you don’t take your dog along with you.
If you find that you need help training your dog to overcome anxiety, or if you think your dog would benefit from a more social environment and a bit of a pamper for a few days, contact us today! At Samford Pet Resort, we are dedicated to the wellbeing and health of your fur friends and will do everything in our power to contribute to a long, healthy and happy life for them!