Behavior Tip of the Month
De-Stressing Your K9
My dog seems anxious all the time. How can I reduce his stress without putting him on drugs?
Stress is harmful for all animals, including dogs. Here are seven drug-free approaches that may reduce your pup's stress:
1. The first comes from John Rogerson, a behavioral expert from England. He recommends the use of chunky peanut butter when your dog is anxious. Rub it on your dog's teeth and the roof of his mouth. He will be busy trying to eat the delicious goop instead of fixating on the anxieties of canine life.
2. If your dog is stressed because he is bored at home, try putting a bird feeder outside of your window. He will watch the birds flying in and out of the feeder. This will reduce stress by enriching his environment and lessening boredom.
3. Wendy Volhard, a top trainer, author, and nutrition expert, believes that the scent of lavender reduces stress. You can put a drop of lavender oil on your fingers and then massage your dog. To enhance the effect even more, teach your dog to associate the smell of lavender with being calm and relaxed. You can do this by burning lavender oil when your canine is tranquil.
4. For canines who are stressed when alone, there is also a new product called DAP. It has pheromones that are supposed to be calming. You can buy it in some pet stores or at www.feliway.com
5. Turgid Rugaas, an internationally known trainer and author from Norway, suggests using calming signals to reduce dog stress. Dogs communicate with each other that they are friendly by using certain body language signals, such as yawning, flicking their tongue, sniffing, and looking away. These signals reassure one dog of the other dog's good intentions and therefore reduce stress. You can use these same signals to reduce your dog's stress. You can find Turgid's book, "Calming Signals" and her videos, at www.dogwise.com
6. Linda Tellington-Jones, an internationally known dog expert, has developed a system of animal massage called T-Touch. It "enhances your relationship with your dog and contributes to an animal's health and well being". You can also buy T-Touch books and videos at www.dogwise.com
7. Lastly, I have heard of a device called the Anxiety Wrap. It wraps around the animal's body and is supposed to help the dog stay calm. The telephone no. is 877-652-1266. You can also order it at www.sitstay.com
I hope these suggestions will rescue you and your dog from "de-stress".
Best Friend Behavior Counseling and Training
San Diego, Ca.
"Positively teaching pets and their people since 1977"
Do you have a question for Carole? You can reach her at this email address - firstname.lastname@example.org Perhaps she will use it in an upcoming article on this Web site.
The information contained on this site is in no way intended to replace that of proper veterinary advice, diagnosis or treatment.
It is meant to provide resource, so that we can better understand canine health related issues.