Music can also alleviate noise sensitivity by blocking the street or scary noises that bother some dogs and create anxiety. Research has shown that many dogs prefer classical music. Harp music, often used in hospice situations, can be a natural sedative. You might try: Through A Dog’s Ear by pianist Lisa Spector and psychoacoustics researcher Joshua Leeds Noah’s Harp: Surrender by Susan Raimond. While anxiety isn’t a bad behavior per se, it can help to give your dog some time-out when they’re acting out.
Isolating your pet in a safe and quiet space can help calm their frayed nerves. Maybe that space has some very quiet music playing, low lights, and/or some aromatherapy available (see below “Alternative Therapies”). You might also try a ZenCrate for time-outs, and as a general escape pod for your furry friend. The ZenCrate was designed to help dogs with a variety of anxiety factors. It’s similar to a standard crate but it provides vibration isolation, noise cancellation (through sound insulation), reduced light, as well as comfort and security. A motion-activated sensor turns on a gentle fan when your dog enters, which helps block noise and provides a steady stream of fresh air. It comes with a removable door, so your dog can self-comfort and enter at any time. Calming coats and t-shirts apply mild, constant pressure to a dog’s torso, surrounding a dog much like a swaddling cloth on a baby.
It’s recommended for dogs with any type of anxiety induced by travel, separation, noise, or stranger anxiety. Depending on the size of your dog, there are several brands and models to choose from. You can check out ThunderShirt Anxiety Jacket, American Kennel Club Stress Relief Coat, and the Comfort Zone Calming Vest. While there is limited evidence that alternative products can be of benefit to dogs suffering from anxiety, the products listed below are non-invasive and will cause no harm. They are therapies that can be used alone or combined with those above to be more effective. Be sure to do proper research before implementing alternative therapies, and consult with your veterinarian, too. Rescue Remedy is part of the Bach homeopathic line of remedies for humans. Homeopathy was founded over 200 years ago and is popular in Europe and England. (The Queen even has her own Royal Homepath.) It is based on the principle of similarity and uses plants and flower in all remedies. Rescue Remedy Pet is comprised of 5 different Bach Flower Remedies that constitute a stress reliever. You just add 2-4 drops directly to their drinking water. There is also a spray that you can use on pet bedding and toys. Note: There are other homeopathic remedies that can be used on pets for specific issues, like constant barking, intolerance toward strangers, or loss of an owner. There are dog treats that contain helpful supplements proven to help anxiety. Typically they will contain melatonin, thiamin, chamomile, L-Theanine or L-tryptophan. Some also have a ginger element to help with sensitive stomachs. These are often recommended for general and travel anxiety. It uses pheromones to help allay fears, much like a nursing mother gives off to her puppies. It is easy to use: just plug the diffuser into the room your dog spends the most time in. The diffuser releases “dog-appeasing” pheromones, an odorless scent particular to dogs. (Humans, cats, and other pets will not smell anything.) For puppies, you can also use Adaptil’s lightweight collar that can be worn until they’re 6 months old, which helps with the inevitable separation anxiety. This unit combines music therapy with aromatherapy to help calm your dog by using both auditory and olfactory senses.
The sound machine can play a variety of calming loops, such as a babbling brook or relaxing waves lapping at the shore, while the essential oils combine several known to be calming, like lavender, chamomile, and geranium. Good for dogs with noise sensitivity, separation anxiety, and to help them sleep through the night. If you find that the above treatments are not the answer for your dog and their anxiety, it’s best to consult your veterinarian. There are a variety of prescription medications available for separation anxiety and destructive behavior that could be beneficial. Did you know that pot brownies are actually good for you?
As marijuana aficionados have insisted for decades, some of the substances found in cannabis have many health benefits. In particular, cannabidiol (CBD) is good for reducing inflammation, anxiety, pain, and more. Chocolate confections containing CBD (which comes from the industrial hemp plant, not the marijuana plant) are great for getting a good daily dose of this natural compound without the psychoactive effects of other chemicals that are found in marijuana. Before buying any CBD product, make sure it’s high quality.