Does Your Dog Suffer With Travel Anxiety?

What is dog anxiety and how do you tell if your dog has this? Anxiety in dogs is when your canine is uncomfortable with the situation they are in. This could be their perception of the situation or how they have learned to behave when a set of events are presented in front of the dog.  Very often anxiety is at the heart of many behaviour issues, like barking, growling or biting. There are a number of things you can do if you witness this behaviour and of course, are willing to be patient in solving this issue with your dog. The first thing to do is identify the causes, which will help you to rectify the problem.

dog-travel-anxietyOne such problem that is commonly found to be a cause of anxiety is car travel. We often don’t take our dogs out in the car very often, and when we do it is usually for a trip to the vets. Many dogs will have negative associations with vets, and will in turn associate the car journey with that same negativity. So, you may ask, how do I help my dog feel more comfortable in the car? There are a number of steps you can take.

Firstly, you need to start taking your dog out in the car more often. Start with short trips round the block or to a local park. If your dog begins to learn that getting in the car means going on an adventure to a new walking spot, they are more likely to enjoy the ride and associate it with excitement rather than anxiety.



Next you need to help your dog feel calmer in the car. This can be achieved by giving your dog some natural calming remedies. These contain natural ingredients that do not sedate your dog, but rather give them a sense of calm. These have been known to take a dog from having such severe anxiety that they are physically sick when travelling in the car, to being calm and happy.  Natural dog health products don’t need to be taken forever; often they are just needed for a short period while your dog learns to change his negative association with the car.

Ideally you will have a crate in your car for your dog. This creates a safe place where you dog can feel more comfortable. However, not everyone has a car that is capable to housing a crate large enough for their dog. In this situation, you can use a dog car harness and safety equipment for travelling  with your dog on the back seat. It is also advisable to use a hammock. This is essentially a seat cover that extends from the headrests of the front seats to headrests of the back seats and prevents your dog from slipping off the back seat into the foot-well while you are driving.

car-harnessIf you carry out all the steps mentioned above, you should be able to cure if not at least reduce your dog’s travel anxiety to make it more manageable. You can find a large collection of suitable dog car travel gear at Benny the Dog online dog supplies, which certainly help you get on the right track to solving this sometimes frustration, sometimes distressing issue.



Help Your Dog To Be Confident

Is your dog a little bit wimpy when it comes to other dogs? Clearly each pet has a different character to the next, but can your stressed, trembling pooch be given enough confidence by you to start interacting socially with various other pets. Even if their character by nature is shy and timid, you can help them gain the confidence so that connecting with various other dogs and humans isn’t too difficult for them. Some dogs become this way because of a trauma they have suffered in the past. They might likewise have various other issues like separation anxiety. Firstly please comprehend that this will not happen over night, but a lot of patience is needed to get there. To build up your dogs confidence is a slow process to be taken in baby steps.

To begin with obedience training is really helpful. It’s the primary step in assisting your dog to socialize as it will assist them to feel comfy in their body and more used to be around other dogs. The better they become at understanding and obeying commands the stronger their self confidence will grow. When they get something right and you reward them that will develop their sensation of self worth. Physically doing techniques, runs and jumps, will give them a favorable sense of their own body in addition to strengthen them and keeping them fit. All of this is valuable in building up their self esteem. Teaching them to weave, play, fetch and other tricks are fun for both of you in addition providing healthy exercise. Do not scold your dog when they are learning. Correct them if they do something wrong, but this can be done in a gentle manor, so as not to cause a severe knock to any progress you have already made. This will help your dog  feel positive if they know their boundaries.

a shy dogCanine socialization implies that your dog is taught exactly how to feel comfy with themselves around humans, different environments and other dogs regardless of their characters and types. If you haven’t done this from a young age or you’ve taken on an older canine, then obedience training will be the first step in the right direction. To help with socialization take your pouch to the park where you can both sit and watch other owners and dogs. This will assist your canine to get used to being around others without needing to communicate at this stage. You should try to do this as frequently as possible.

Another point that could be caused your dog to have less confidence than he should is that you could be unwittingly encouraging your dog to be fearful by your own behavior. Next time you’re walking your pet dog pay attention to how you react when another dog passes by. You may think that it is good to reassure your dog, however your dog will pick up very quickly on your reactions and body language and will react accordingly. If you start to feel anxious when another dog approaches, then your dog will react on your feelings and believe that seeing another dog approach is something to be fearful of. You should instead, keep quiet and calmly walk towards the other dog without quickening your speed, so your dog see everything as normal and nothing to be afraid of.

Fear Aggression in dogsYou do not want your dog to get into a fear aggressive state. This is when your dog is scared and feels trapped so he cannot take the flight (run away) approach and instead is faced with the fight response. Once this happens it can be extremely hard to correct. It is precisely as it sounds, aggressive habits produced as an outcome of fear. Essentially a pet dog will attack or become aggressive first before the other dog does. If your dog has got to this stage already, the best thing you can do for both your sake and your dog welfare is to visit a canine behavior specialist and get some one on one help. Fear, an absence of early socialization, abuse and possible genetic conditions might all be contributing to this problem, so it can take a lot of time and patience to solve. It may be that you never ever completely train your dog to overcome these issues because they may already be too deeply embedded. However, with a behavioral expert and lots of persistence you can definitely help to reduce it.