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Dog Anxiety Meds - A Holistic Approach to Treating Dog Anxiety

Mar 28

Dog Anxiety Meds

If your dog is exhibiting symptoms of anxiety, it's important to get them checked out by the veterinarian or canine behavior consultant right away. It's also crucial to address the underlying cause of the anxiety. Leaving anxiety untreated can have serious health consequences and even shorten your dog's lifespan.

The first step is to rule out any physical causes for your dog anxiety such as pain, itching, illness or other factors that can lower their stress threshold. Once any medical reasons have been ruled out, the veterinarian can offer anti anxiety medication and/or recommend a veterinary behaviorist to help with behavioral treatment for your dog's specific anxiety type.

Typically, most forms of anxiety require long-term therapy that can span several years. Most treatments include a combination of calming products, behavior modification and natural supplements along with prescription medications for anxiety, especially in severe cases of anxiety.

A veterinary behaviorist can teach you techniques to calm your dog and make them feel safe while they are in stressful situations. Examples of these techniques are desensitization, counterconditioning and redirection. In some cases, a behaviorist may recommend pheromone collars or diffusers or natural remedies like CBD to assist with the training process and reduce anxiety.

Many people will also ask the vet to prescribe anti anxiety medication for their dog, which is often a last resort when other methods aren't successful. If your veterinarian prescribes anxiety meds for your dog, follow their instructions for proper dosage and administration.

There are a variety of medications used for dog anxiety, including selective serotine reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and antidepressants. These medications are typically used for anxiety and panic disorders, but they're not recommended for every dog. They have the potential to interact with other medications, such as heart medications, so they should only be prescribed by a licensed veterinarian.

In addition to medications, your dog can benefit from pheromones and herbal supplements such as chamomile or lavender. These supplements can be used as a part of a holistic approach to dog anxiety and are available in capsule form or tinctures.

One thing to note about pheromones is that they're often only effective in the immediate vicinity of the dog, so you'll want to use them in conjunction with other treatments and behavioral changes for best results.

For example, you'll want to work with your veterinarian and behaviorist on training that will help your dog learn to associate the triggers of their anxiety, such as thunderstorms or men in hats, with positive experiences, such as walks and treats. Providing a safe place, like their crate or favorite bed, that they can go to on cue when they become anxious is also helpful. Teach them to love this place by pairing it with rewards and treats, and gradually build up how close they can be to their safe spot while still feeling comfortable. Lastly, if they are experiencing separation anxiety, be sure to train them to go to their safe place on cue when they're left alone.