5 Ways To Reduce Social Anxiety In Your Pet Dog

BY | March 15 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY
5 Ways To Reduce Social Anxiety In Your Pet Dog

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Social anxiety not only affects humans but it also affects pets too. The fear of meeting new companions or animals of their kind can be a terrifying experience for some. Some of the symptoms of social anxiety that animals show is withdrawal, loss of appetite, desire to stay indoors all the time and restlessness in the presence of a fellow animal. The best treatment option is a visit to the vet or in this case having the vet visit your house.It is not uncommon for dogs to show anxious behavior in social circles. Social anxiety may not always happen due to fear of social gatherings. It could even start from a clap of thunder or the sound of the vacuum cleaner. Fear is a feeling that spreads with time and experience and slowly it creeps into other lifestyle factors. If you feel that your dog is suffering from social anxiety, then here are 5 ways to reduce it.

  1. Avoid large crowdsDonโ€™t bring too many people at once when your dog is around. It goes for humans and animals as well. Try introducing one animal at a time. If you have a close friend who has a dog or a cat, then ask him/her to come over frequently with his/her pet. That way youโ€™ll be giving ample amount of time to your dog to cope with the new company.
  2. Find out what keeps your dog happyIt could be a toy or a particular game that he enjoys playing. Identify what your dog loves doing the most and use it to help him overcome social anxiety.
  3. Focus on dietIf your dog is stressed out, he/she will show a lack of appetite. Try making the meals more interesting and find out new recipes to ensure that your dog does not miss out on the essential nutrients. Additionally, take your dog to a vet for regular check-ups.
  4. Try short walksIt will be tough at first but try taking your dog out for short walks. You can start with the periphery of the house and then move on to the street once your dog gets comfortable going out in the open. By going out, your dog will see other animals and slowly, the social anxiety will decrease.
  5. Take it easyDonโ€™t lose your temper around your dog. The last thing you would want is your dog to have additional stress. Relax and take it easy. In time, things will fall into place.

Conclusion

Social anxiety affects dogs in the same way it affects us. The tips listed above should come in handy if your dog is facing similar issues.

How do you take care of the other aspects of your dogs? The below section guides you on the same.

Teaching Your Dog Basic Commands

Anyone who has visited a house with an unruly dog knows it is not an enjoyable place to go. No one likes being jumped on, barked at, or having their belongings chewed on. That's why it's good to teach your dog basic commands.

There are a few necessities when teaching your dog any command: food or treats, patience, time, and quiet. The food is the dog's reward, so make sure it is something your dog really enjoys. Use patience and reward your dog for their efforts. Also, it can makes things easier to use the same words every time you give a command. For example, your dog could get confused if you say "come" sometimes and then say "come here" at other times.

Teaching Your Dog to Sit

Teaching your dog to sit is one of the easiest commands to teach. All you have to do is go to a quiet room in your home with your dog. Make sure to bring the treats! Let your dog smell the treat to get them interested. Then hold the treat above their head and move it backward. Your dog will instinctively sit so they can tilt their head back further to look at the treat. When your dog is sitting, give them the treat and lots of praise.

Repeat this process until you believe your dog has a good grasp of the command. Eventually you should have your dog sit in your yard, then on the sidewalk, then in a busy place such as a park. If your dog sits with a lot going on around you, you'll know they've grasped the command. After a while, you can stop giving your dog a treat every time. After a while, praise and pets can serve as the reward most of the time. Every dog loves a surprise treat, though!

Teaching Your Dog to Lie Down

There are a number of reasons you should teach your dog to lie down. It helps dogs relax after playtime, it can make your dog less intimidating to your friends, and your dog can lie down with you if you so choose. This command is best taught after the sit command has been mastered. That way you can have the dog sit and they only have two more legs to bend to be lying down.

First, have your dog in the sit position, then bring the treat down to the floor in front of your dog. Your dogโ€™s head should follow the treat to the floor and cause them to lie down. If not, hold the treat in your fist on the floor until your dog does lay down. Then give them the treat. When you are ready for your dog to get up, say "ok." As always, repeat this until you are confident in your dogโ€™s ability to respond to the command. An easy way to teach your dog to go lie down on their bed is to walk it over to the bed while saying "go to bed." When your dog is standing on the bed, tell them to lie down. Eventually you'll be able to stop walking your dog to the bed each time.

Teaching Your Dog to Come

Teaching your dog to come is an essential command. When you say "come," followed by your dogโ€™s name, your dog should stop what they're doing and come to you the first time you say it. Always make your dog happy about dropping what they were doing to come to you. Easy ways to do this are to give a treat, go for a walk, or play with a toy. When first starting this command training, it is best to be in a fenced outdoor area. You will need a friend to help you with this one. Whether you have a puppy or an adult dog, you should hold an extendable leash while your friend holds the dog. Put some distance between you and them, then turn around and say "come" and your dogโ€™s name in a cheery voice. When your dog comes to you, give them a treat and a lot of praise. Remember: repeat, repeat, repeat!

Teaching your dog basic commands should be fun for you and your dog. Stay patient, and it can be very rewarding. 

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