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.
One 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.
If 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.