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Dog Anxiety Help: How to Calm Down an Anxious Dog

At, we understand how challenging it can be to manage a dog that struggles with anxiety, fear, or stress. Calming an anxious dog requires patience, dedication, and sometimes professional help. This guide provides comprehensive insights into identifying anxiety signs in dogs and offers detailed steps to help alleviate their stress.

Recognizing the Signs of Dog Anxiety

Dogs use body language to communicate their feelings. It’s crucial to identify these signs to address anxiety effectively. Common signs of anxiety in dogs include:

Behavioral Signs:

  • Pacing

  • Trembling or shaking

  • Hypervigilance

  • Lip licking

  • Frequent yawning

  • Decreased appetite

Physiological Signs:

  • Increased salivation or drooling

  • Dilated pupils

  • Increased heart rate and panting

  • Skin lesions from self-trauma

  • Over-grooming

Consulting Your Veterinarian

Once you recognize the signs of anxiety, document the circumstances and triggers. Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to rule out underlying medical conditions that might be contributing to your dog's anxiety. Your vet can perform diagnostic tests to ensure your pet’s overall health and recommend appropriate treatments.

Working with a Veterinary Behaviorist

In some cases, your veterinarian might refer you to a board-certified veterinary behaviorist. These specialists have extensive training in clinical behavior medicine and are experts in treating anxiety, fear, and aggression in pets. They can develop comprehensive treatment plans tailored to your dog's needs.

Tips for Calming Your Dog’s Anxiety

1. Remove Anxiety Triggers: Identify and minimize exposure to stressors. For example, if your dog is anxious around other dogs or people, avoid crowded places like dog parks. Instead, opt for quiet walks during less busy times or engage in indoor play.

2. Use Dog Appeasing Pheromones: Synthetic pheromones mimic the calming pheromones produced by nursing dogs. Available as collars, sprays, and diffusers, these can help reduce anxiety in some dogs.

3. Exercise: Regular physical activity is beneficial for reducing anxiety. Studies have shown that exercise can lower levels of aggression, fear, and separation anxiety in dogs.

4. Create a Sanctuary Space: Designate a quiet, comfortable area where your dog can retreat during stressful situations like thunderstorms or when visitors arrive. Using white noise can help drown out disturbing sounds.

5. Anti-Anxiety Medications: If necessary, your veterinarian might prescribe anti-anxiety medications. These medications can help manage severe anxiety and improve your dog's quality of life without altering their personality or making them excessively sleepy.

6. Behavior Modification: Behavior modification techniques can change your dog’s emotional response to stressors. This cognitive therapy can help your dog become less fearful and more relaxed. A veterinary behaviorist can guide you through this process.

Supporting Your Anxious Dog

Understanding and avoiding stress triggers, ruling out medical issues, and seeking professional help are crucial steps in managing your dog's anxiety. Scientific research indicates that stress negatively impacts health and lifespan in dogs, much like in humans. Therefore, it’s vital to be proactive in addressing your dog’s anxiety.


Helping an anxious dog requires a combination of patience, consistent effort, and professional guidance. By following these steps and consulting with experts, you can significantly improve your dog's well-being and quality of life. For more resources and expert advice on pet care, visit Together, we can ensure our furry friends lead happy, healthy, and stress-free lives.

Anxious Dog
Anxious Dog


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