Treating anxiety disorders in dogs: treatment options

Treating anxiety disorders in dogs: treatment options

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If your four-legged friend has been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, not only the veterinarian can treat him. You too can make a big contribution to making your four-legged friend feel better again soon. With a lot of patience and empathy, you can help your dog overcome its fears. With a lot of love, care and the right therapy, dogs overcome an anxiety disorder - Shutterstock / Anna Hoychuk

With an anxiety disorder, your dog has changed completely in certain situations: it whines, whines and trembles or growls and barks aggressively. In the event of extreme anxiety, only a visit to the veterinarian or animal psychologist, where you can have the anxiety disorder treated professionally, helps. In less bad cases and also accompanying professional therapy, you can also ensure that your loved one learns to deal with their fears.

Avoid triggers of anxiety disorder

First of all, you need to determine what triggers your four-legged friend's fears. These can be people, places, objects, certain movements or everyday noises. A first step is to avoid these triggers so that your dog is not under constant stress.

You can also calm your four-legged friend with medication or natural remedies. For example, essences of Bach flower remedies are used particularly often to combat fear in dogs. You can get these in the pharmacy, from your veterinarian or a naturopath. Certain pheromones can also have a calming effect. Fragrances that were produced by suckling bitches and thus convey a feeling of security are available, for example, as a spray or atomizer for the socket. You can also have your animal friend treated with psychotropic drugs - but you should definitely consult your veterinarian because the dosage of these drugs can be very complicated. Of course, it is not a permanent solution to immobilize your darling using various means. After all, you want to help him overcome his anxiety disorder.

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Treat anxiety disorder with behavior therapy

Basically, it is advisable to start behavioral therapy in collaboration with an animal psychologist. However, you can also take this step alone, ideally in consultation with a veterinarian or therapist. You work with sounds, objects and situations that are similar to the anxiety triggers. However, they ensure that your dog combines them with rewards.

If, for example, your four-legged friend gets nervous when strange people show up at your home, ask your visitors to treat them particularly gently and kindly and to greet them with a treat. Your dog may be looking forward to a visit soon. If the anxiety disorder relates to being in the car, you can practice getting on and off without actually starting. If your dog gets into the car, just take a short lap around the block with him. The rewards with treats and a lot of praise are also very important here.

In some cases, you can also easily eliminate an anxiety disorder in your dog by permanently avoiding problematic anxiety triggers: For example, if your darling is regularly frightened by the high-pitched doorbell, try switching to a different tone. Basically: Always remain calm and patient and build the bond with your dog through long walks and extensive play. If he trusts you, you can help him in difficult situations.