They are your trusted friend, a true family member. Your dog holds a special place in your life and it is only natural that you have his well being in your thoughts. Nevertheless, it can be difficult to read your dog’s feelings and help him deal with them since he can’t verbally communicate what he feels. Below we offer 7 useful tips to help you help your dog relax and cope better with anxiety or stress when it arises.
Massage your dog
We all know how much dogs love being petted and getting attention from their owner. But you can go a bit further than that and make a habit out of giving your dog a daily ten-minute massage. This custom will come in handy when the situation arises and you need him to relax. Use your palm to touch his body and pay attention to his response and his body reactions. Over time, this can also help you find changes, sore spots or abnormalities that require the local vets attention.
Play them music
Dogs can be very sensitive to the musical environment and might not necessarily share your taste in music. Studies have shown that classical piano music with a slowed-down tempo and repetitive patterns can improve your pet’s mood. This method is also being used in shelters and has helped a great deal with improving adoption rates. You can easily find dedicated playlists for pets on music apps such as Spotify and iTunes.
Maintain a routine
In many ways, a dog is like a child to his owner, and like children, pets function very well when they have an established routine. As much as possible, try to keep the same periods of the day for specific activities like feeding and going for a walk. The familiarity of structure will help relax your dog and keeping a clear schedule can also come in handy when you’re going on a trip together.
Keep your calm
Dogs react to their owner’s mood and behaviour. They are incredibly attuned to our state of mind. So, avoid being around your dog when you are very angry or anxious and try to be a calming and supportive presence for him when he seems to be in a bad mood.
Taking a walk in a secure and calm place such as your local park or neighbourhood, playing and running around can help your dog burn the energy he gets from being nervous or anxious. Remember that they are creatures used to being outside. Spending too much time indoors can negatively affect your dog’s mental health.
A safe place
We all like having our relaxing, safe spot. It goes the same way for your furry pal. Make sure he has his own sanctuary in the house, with a mat, his own fluffy pillow and toys. Sometimes, when he is in a bad place mentally it can help to simply just give him some space and let him be.
Ask your local vet for advice
Having a good vet on your speed dial can be life-changing. Ask your pet’s doctor for help and advice from time to time, not only when emergencies arise. They are trained specialists and have a lot of experience so they can give you precious advice that can help your dog live his best life.