Many people who own an emotional support dog do so because they suffer from some form of anxiety. But it is not only humans who suffer from anxiety conditions. Animals also have distinct personalities and suffer from psychological conditions such as depression and anxiety.
When a dog is living in a stressful situation, is not having its needs met, or is lonely, it can often develop anxiety. Plus, some dogs just have a more anxious disposition than others.
If your ESA dog suffers from anxiety – whether that is its natural disposition, or due to some external circumstances or events that occurred in its history – there are things you can do to alleviate your pet’s suffering.
Here are nine ways to cure your ESA dog’s anxiety.
Bring Your Dog For Regular Vet Check-Ups
Underlying chronic illnesses can cause anxiety in humans and animals. Living with pain, discomfort, or low energy can create feelings of anxiety in any living creature. Making sure your ESA dog is in good health is essential. By bringing your emotional support dog for regular check-ups at your local vet, you can make sure that any underlying health conditions that could cause anxiety can be detected. Curing any health complaints and keeping your dog as healthy as possible will go a long way towards keeping your ESA dog as free from anxiety as possible.
Improve Your Dog’s Sleep
Good quality sleep is essential for a healthy body and mind. All living creatures require enough sleep. If your ESA dog is chronically underslept, it will tend to feel anxious. Make sure your emotional support dog gets the good quality sleep it needs by providing it with appropriate bedding and making sure noise and light pollution are kept to a minimum. Improving your dog’s sleep will reduce its levels of anxiety.
Make Sure Your ESA Dog Gets Lots of Exercise
When the body is sedentary all day, the mind tends to get antsy. Exercise releases endorphins that calm the mind, promote happiness and well-being, and reduce anxiety. Many dogs require a large daily dose of vigorous exercise. If you keep your dog indoors all day and it doesn’t get to run and play, it is likely to feel anxious. Make absolutely certain that your emotional support dog gets enough exercise every day. Being thoroughly exercised will mean your dog feels calm, happy, and anxiety-free.
Provide a Peaceful and Stress-Free Living Environment
Dogs are experts in picking up on human emotions. If there’s tension in a house, a dog can always sense it. When humans live together, it is not uncommon for disagreements and tensions to arise. This is not only stressful for the humans – it is also stressful and anxiety-provoking for a dog that lives in the home. In order to cure your emotional support dog’s anxiety, you need to provide it with a calm and relaxed atmosphere. This means making sure that the humans in the home are all getting on well and not harboring too many grudges. Sorting out interpersonal issues and making a happy home with good vibes will benefit everybody, including your ESA dog.
Allow Your Dog Plenty of Social Interaction With Other Dogs
Your emotional support animal loves you dearly. But it also enjoys the company of other members of its own species. Dogs like to run and play with other dogs. By providing your ESA dog with a chance to interact with other dogs, you are giving it a vital gift. Time spent in the company of other dogs will be very emotionally satisfying for your pet and will go a long way towards reducing its anxiety.
Give Your Dog Sufficient Tactile and Verbal Contact
Dogs are highly social animals. As we mentioned above, they love to play with each other. They also love to play and connect with their human friends. Your ESA dog loves when you give it attention. Talk to your dog, pet it, play with it, and cuddle it. By giving your dog tons of tactile and verbal contact you will help it feel happy, calm, and largely anxiety-free.
Provide Your Dog With A Healthy Diet and Lots of Water
Dogs need to be properly nourished and hydrated. Just like humans, dogs will feel anxiety if their diet is lacking. Animals “are what they eat”. Make sure your emotional support dog has the right amount of high-quality dog food, and also always has enough fresh water. A well fed and watered dog is a less anxious dog.
Protect Your Dog from Auditory Pollution
Dogs do not enjoy sudden loud noises. Most get very anxious when they are exposed to exploding fireworks, loud music, or lightning. So if there are likely to be loud noises outside, take your ESA dog indoors to protect it from sudden noises that will make it anxious.
Have Your Dog Washed and Groomed Regularly
If a dog is too hot or too cold, it will feel physically uncomfortable. This discomfort can lead to feelings of anxiety. The same is true if your dog is particularly dirty. By having your ESA dog regularly washed and groomed, you are making sure it is as comfortable as possible. When a dog is physically comfortable, it tends to feel calm and free from anxiety.