Today’s episode is with veterinarian Dr. Angie Zinkus and dogmom to Yogi @ahzdvm and @germantownparkwayah. On this episode, Dr. Z and I have a short chat about stress and anxiety in active dogs and ways to manage it.
While dogs can have anxiety or experience stress, the way in which they experience it is completely different than humans. While humans can have mental stress related to things or events in the future or past, dogs live very much in the moment and are generally only affected by situational stress. In other words, a dog’s stress is a reaction to their current condition.
Specific situations that can create stress for your pup while on adventures can include traveling in a vehicle, extreme weather conditions, general disruption to their normal routine, random encounters with other dogs and people, and more. For the most part, all of the situations that can happen while traveling, or while being on adventures, can be planned for and often times prevented. Training for being in a vehicle for extended amounts of time, carrying adequate warm or dry gear for your dog, having a thunder jacket for storms, and sticking to feeding schedules are all things you can do to prevent and handle stress. It’s always best to work with your dog over time through training and positive reinforcement to solve issues that cause stress and anxiety.
Signs that your pup may be stressed can include shaking, panting, excessive drooling, licking or chewing, loss of bladder control, restlessness, and destructive behaviors. It’s also good to be aware of very subtle body language which includes a tucked tail, pinned back or flattened ears, repetitive yawning, excessive shedding, and of course, physical contact when they shelter up against you.
Some natural ways to treat anxiety would be CBD tinctures and treats for dogs, or herbal supplements that provide a calming affect. One such herbal supplement that has been mentioned on the podcast previously is Kairos for Dogs Harmonious Blend with chamomile. Benadryl can also be used as a mild sedative in some cases, with the dosage at 1mg per pound of body weight. For situations requiring something more powerful, consult with your vet, who may prescribe a wide range of natural or pharmaceutical products. One relatively new product is the Ceva Adaptil Calm pheromone releasing collar.
Thanks for listening!