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Table of Contents:
- An Epidemic of Canine Anxiety
- How Your Pup Tells You They’re Worried
- Natural Compounds Shown to Limit Anxiety Could Help Dogs
- How You Can Help Your Anxious Dog
- Caring for Your Dog’s Anxiety Helps You Feel Better Too
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However, you can ease your dog’s anxiety and help them find calm, despite an uncertain future. In addition, treating your dog’s anxiety can help relieve your own stress. With a few tweaks to your routine and adding some healthy supplements like Front of the Pack’s Harmony to your dog’s diet, you and your pup can weather this anxiety storm without having to resort to medication.
An Epidemic of Canine Anxiety
For many dogs, the pandemic began with a happy event – pet adoptions reached record-breaking highs as families added new shelter dogs to their homes. Unfortunately, the latest evolution of pandemic life now threatens the mental well-being of many dogs that are used to having family members at home most of the day.
With many adults and children returning to the office or school, dogs are alone for longer hours than they’re used to, and vets report that canine phobias, stress, and anxiety are on the rise. Studies suggest that more than three-quarters of dogs show symptoms of anxiety1. Even before the pandemic, more than 41% of US dogs experienced separation anxiety. In addition, more than 37% of dogs have noise phobias.
How Your Pup Tells You They’re Worried
Dogs are social beings who are genuinely distressed when they are not with the rest of their “pack.”
The most common ways they show distress are:
- Destructive exploring (chewing, clawing, scratching)
- Excessive chewing, digging, and scratching in areas near doors and windows, commonly known as barrier frustration
- Excessive barking, howling, or whining
- Self-harm (chewing or biting themselves)
- Diarrhea, vomiting, or urinating indoors
- Aggressive behavior when you leave the house
- Loss of appetite, decreased activity, and loss of interest in play
As hard as it might be when staring at a shredded throw pillow, remember that these anxious behaviors are not spiteful. Instead, your buddy is just trying to self-soothe and calm down because they are so worried about being left behind.
Natural Compounds Shown to Limit Anxiety Could Help Dogs
Obviously, you’ll want to take away your dog’s anxiety as soon as possible, destruction or not. And it is important that you do: If left untreated, your dog’s anxiety can develop into a disorder, according to the American Kennel Club. However, turning to a quick fix with anti-anxiety medication is not always the safest or longest-lasting solution. According to vets, helping your dog find calm requires behavior modification strategies2 and a more holistic treatment approach3.
Adding dietary supplements to your dog’s regular diet can be an important first step toward reducing their anxiety. This is especially important if you have one of the dog breeds prone to an underlying anxious state. It is healthier for their organs to not have to process the chemicals in anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medications4 for the rest of their lives.
Before you start your dog on a laundry list of meds with possible side effects, why not try one of these promising compounds to help them live a calmer life.
- Ashwagandha regulates cortisol levels and supports healthy stress responses in the body. This ayurvedic herb has been used for centuries in humans to reduce anxiety and lower symptoms of stress.
- L-theanine balances brain chemicals to encourage a non-drowsy, calm state. This amino acid found in green tea is known to reduce stress and anxiety.
- Magnolia Bark Extract has been shown to reduce fear-related behaviors in dogs in scientific studies. Chinese medicine uses this natural supplement to improve mood, treat depression and anxiety, and boost immunity.
- Phellodendron Extract is another adaptogen shown to reduce anxiety and promote well-being.
How You Can Help Your Anxious Dog
Some vets are quick to prescribe medications to try to fix anxiety. Unfortunately, medicating your dog’s anxiety does not address the cause and can often leave your furry friend drowsy.
Natural supplements with clinically proven ingredients are an anxiety-alleviating option many pet parents are turning to. For example, Harmony from Front of the Pack delivers all four of the natural anxiety-busting ingredients listed above in its slow-release beadlet formulation. Vets recommend Harmony because scientific studies back its ingredients. Plus, you can feel good knowing a portion of your purchase goes to helping make the nation’s shelters “no-kill” by 2025.
Because the natural ingredients in Harmony are natural, rather than synthetic, you can feel safe giving your dog a daily supplement. Harmony does not make your dog drowsy like some alternatives can, so they are perfect to give your dog 90 minutes before anxiety-provoking situations like a car trip, a vet visit, or going to doggy daycare.
There are three other behavior-modification tricks to try as part of your holistic approach to your canine’s (almost) post-pandemic anxiety. First, slowly ease back into your regular work hours or longer periods of separation. The AKC recommends helping your dog build up a tolerance to being left alone at home5. Second, introduce your dog to the concept of social distancing if they have been “Velcro-Dog” every minute since the start of the pandemic.
The second part of calming your dog’s anxiety is making sure to tire them out with plenty of exercise. It may mean an earlier wake-up, but your dog will be less likely to destroy your house when they are worn out. Vets also recommend trying to find at least 15 minutes when you get home from work for vigorous play.
Along with increased exercise, providing your pup with new play toys to prevent doggy boredom will help tame stress levels when left alone. Interactive gadgets like food puzzles or chew toys occupy your dog’s brain and distract them from loneliness.
Caring for Your Dog’s Anxiety Helps You Feel Better Too
Anxiety is contagious. Dogs are sensitive beings. They know when you are stressed. So, the last thing you want is your stress about your dog’s anxiety to make both of you more worried. Instead, you can feel better by taking positive steps to calm your worried pup. Whether you choose a vet-recommended natural supplement like Harmony, medications, or some behavior modifications, a holistic approach is the best way to help both you and your dog worry less.