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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.
- Avoid large crowdsDon’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 you’ll be giving ample amount of time to your dog to cope with the new company.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Take it easyDon’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.
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.