Let's Talk Mental Health

With all of the information and support for mental health for people these days, we cannot leave out our pets. Anxiety is a common thing that dogs can suffer from, and shows up in many forms such as separation anxiety, anxiety from storms and gun shots, being in too small of a crate, and they can feed off your anxiety or problems in the home.

What are some of the signs of anxiety in your pets? They might show stress by pushing their ears back, tucking their tail, salivating, yawning, licking their muzzle, or lifting their front paw. Other, more obvious signs of dog anxiety include cowering or hiding, trembling, panting, or expressing his anal glands. Not to worry though, just like with us, there are several ways to help your animal calm down!

- Look into your routine. If your pet gets anxious with a change in their schedule, try to keep as routine a schedule as possible so that they can anticipate when they will be able to go outside, when they will eat, and when they can play. This is especially important when your dog has separation anxiety.

- Compression wraps or thunder-shirts can not only be super adorable, but can make a huge difference by allowing the swaddling technique to apply gently and constant pressure to your pet.

- Playing music or T.V. can have a calming affect by making them feel they aren’t alone in your home while you are away for the day. Soft rock, reggae and classical music have shown the highest results in reducing stress in dogs.

- As unusual as this sounds, you can treat your dogs to a massage to help calm down their nervous system. In addition to the amazing benefits of chiropractic, massage can also encourage the nervous system to return to normalcy and restore proper blood flow and lymph flow to the muscles, organs and rest of the body. Massage is also thought to ease anxiety and aggression in dogs due to the calming physical tough.

- If none of the above methods work for you and your pet, then seeking professional help is always an option. Consider meeting with a board-certified veterinary behaviorist or a certified applied animal behaviorist who can help you put together a game plan to change your dog’s underlying emotional response.

If you would like more information on any of the above anxiety-relief techniques, please call our office and we can talk with you about what is happening with your pet! Lots of love! Dr. Kelly and Dr. Kari

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