Dog Behaviourist Laura V's top tips on where to start when faced with anxious behaviour:
Anxiety in dogs is a genuine mental health issue – there is no quick fix ‘cure’, but you can help your pet find ways to manage their behaviour and cope with stressful situations.
Reward calm, cooperative behaviour whenever it happens – don’t wait for training situations.
Most importantly – create a SAFE PLACE for your pet where they feel calm, happy and in control. This could be your bed, or even your own bed. Encourage them to spend prolonged periods of time there until they see it as a place they can return to at any time. Ensure they have access to this space at all times, especially you are not home.
Medication can help – but do your research first. Avoid sedatives, try Rufus & Coco Anxiety Aid - a professionally formulated palatable powder containing tryptophan along with other B group vitamins and minerals to help your little mate maintain emotional balance during stressful situations, support the nervous system and maintain optimum digestion.but do your research first. Avoid sedatives, and ask questions about how the prescribed medication can help your pet.
- Predictable routines are essential to support an anxious dog.
Exercise more! A dog who is able to use their mental and physical energy up each day will have much greater self control at other times.
Departures and arrivals need to be a non-event. While your pet is experiencing separation anxiety, don’t greet your pet excitedly when you get home, and don’t make a fuss over leaving. Practice coming and going with no fanfare for short periods at a time so your pet begins to understand and predict that you will return.
- Have your pet’s health checked thoroughly – underlying health issues or pain can be causing stress and behaviour issues.
Managing anxiety takes time, persistence and patience. For more info and support, watch Laura V’s video, visit her blog, and get the support of a behaviourist or vet near you.
Rufus & Coco Supplements are available online or at Woolworths.