If people have different kinds of personalities, so are our furry companions. Most of the time, personalities develop due to genetics and environment. Separation anxiety, aggressiveness, excessive barking, resource guarding, and destruction are common dog behavioral issues often connected to fear, stress, or a lack of exposure to what scares them. If you’ve been observing these behaviors in your pet, you might be looking for ways to improve their lives by helping them overcome what makes them anxious.
Thankfully, the simple guidelines we will discuss should help them conquer their fears and ease your worries.
How to Help Anxious Dogs Conquer Their Fears
If you are a fur parent concerned about your dog’s quality of life, you will do everything possible to eliminate their fear, anxiety, stress, and pain.
However, if you struggle to help your pet overcome their fears, here are five effective tips to help them regain confidence and overcome themselves.
1. Socialize Them
Socializing your pet is a great way to eliminate fears that might develop early on. Socialization is vital in pet dogs at all stages of their life. However, you must ensure your pet has completed their vaccines and has at least one booster shot if you’re socializing them at a young age. This can protect them from deadly viral diseases they may contract when mingling with their fellows. If you’re looking for centers to have your pet vaccinated, you may search for “dog shots near me” to see specific results.
You can raise a confident dog by taking them for regular walks or to local dog parks to play and meet new friends. Regular and continuous exposure is key to developing your dog’s socialization skills. When training your pet to interact socially, there’s no need to rush the process. Letting them lead the way while they’re on the leash is also a good idea to acclimate themselves to the new environment when you take them to new trails or parks.
Raising a sociable pet can also mean raising a friendly and well-behaved canine citizen. When you take them to the veterinarian to be examined or leave them in a dog boarding center, you’re confident they won’t cause problems with their fellows and other people. You may visit their boarding page to learn more about their services.
2. Have Patience
Dogs can pick up human emotions, so your pet may only get more resistant and anxious if you’re too annoyed or pushy. Patience is vital to help your pet understand that what you’re doing for them can help them overcome their worries at a rate they can stay up to date with.
For example, your pet has a fear of veterinary visits. Taking them to a vet clinic despite knowing their anxiety might only worsen the situation. You can eliminate your pet’s fear of vet visits by observing patience and taking baby steps.
Below are a few best practices you can follow to help your pet conquer their anxiety:
- Make sure your dog is used to getting handled in the muzzle, paws, ears, groin, tail, and rear.
- Train them to wear a muzzle.
- Familiarize them with car journeys so they don’t always associate it with vet visits.
- Do training visits to a veterinary center.
- Use treats to reward them each time they show good behavior during a training visit.
If you’re looking for a vet facility, you can search for “animal hospital near me” for accurate results.
3. Avoid Punishment
While we may think punishment is the best method to curb a dog’s negative behavior, it’s the other way around. Punishment can only produce more fear and cause dogs to lose trust in their pet parents. Avoiding punishment and using a still, gentle voice to talk to your pet and correct their unwanted behavior helps them feel safer.
4. Visit the Veterinarian
An important step to know if health conditions are causing your dog’s fearfulness is through a medical evaluation. Canines in pain usually get more fearful of anything that exacerbates their pain. Older pets undergoing physical changes, including cognitive deterioration and loss of hearing or sight, may also develop phobias and fears. Underlying medical conditions contributing to your pet’s fearfulness can be resolved and identified when you take them to the vet for a checkup.
Making your dog feel safe is more than just providing them with a comfortable bed, a home, and tasty treats. It also means doing simple things that keep them physically and mentally stable. By practicing consistency and patience while following the tips we’ve enumerated, your pet should show improvement. If they do not respond positively to your efforts, the vet might suggest tailored therapies and treatments to address your pet’s fearfulness. In some cases, your veterinarian might link you to a dog trainer to oversee and correct your pet’s condition.