How to Handle Common Stressors
There are many kinds of stress that we experience. We feel the stress of work, finances, house chores, and more. Our dogs feel stress too! Some worry about thunderstorms, loud noises, being alone, when family or friends come over, traveling in the car, crate training, bringing home a new dog, visiting the vet, or sudden movements. Some anxieties can be helped and others prevented with a few easy tools.
SIMPLE TOOLS TO HELP
Dog Appeasing Pheromone (DAP)- DAP can come in spray form, collar form, or diffuser form. The spray can easily be applied before a stressful event on a bandana that you can tie around your dog’s neck. The collar and diffuser are good options for dogs that are anxious or stressed frequently. The pheromone is naturally produced by lactating dogs about 3-5 days after they give birth. The pheromone scent is picked up by dogs and has a calming effect.
ThunderShirt- The ThunderShirt is another great tool for anxious dogs. It is a tight fitting shirt that secures onto the dog. The gentle but constant pressure has a calming effect to the dog’s nervous system and is believed to cause the body to release calming hormones like endorphins.
Through a Dog’s Ear- Through a Dog’s Ear is music that is psychoacoustically designed to support your dog’s compromised nervous system. There are several varieties and playing them during stressful events can help decrease your dog’s anxiety.
HOW DO WE USE THEM?
You can use them as to help treat anxieties or as preventatives. To use as treatment aids use them during stressful situations. For example if your dog does not like thunderstorms and you know one is on the way, put on the Thundershirt, begin playing the music, and spray the pheromone.
They can also be used as preventatives. I don’t want puppies to develop separation or crate anxiety. So when they are crated I play the music to add an element of relaxation for them. I also use it when I have board and trains come to the house. The dog enters a new environment and that can be a little scary. So, I play the music when they are crated to help them settle. The music can also be used during loud noises like thunderstorms, construction, and fireworks. Playing the music can drown out the scary noises and ease some anxiety or stress the dogs may be feeling.
WHAT IF THESE DON’T WORK?
If your using these as treatments and you don’t notice a difference when you use them, it means your poor pup is very stressed! We recommend continuing to use these while you work with a trainer (like us!) or veterinary behaviorist to help your dog overcome his/her fears with behavior modification.