Managing Stress In Dogs: Relief Without The Vet

Anxiety in Dogs

The Fourth of July is coming up along with a day or two of blasts and bangs. Does your dog freak out with all the noise? There are some products to consider if all that noise from fireworks, as well as summer thunderstorms, separation anxiety or, other situations bothers your four-legged best friend. These four products all claim to do a fantastic job in calming canine nerves without medication or training from professionals.

  • Thundershirt
  • Comfort Zone
  • Dog Sitter DVD
  • Music My Pet CD

Personalities in Pets


Like humans, many pets-dogs, cats, even hermit crabs have distinct personalities. Some are naturally hyper while others are “laid back.” Some are shy, some are friendly. I have three dogs that are as different in personality as they are in color. Like a mother, with kids, I love them equally.

Most all dogs will stress out from time to time. Even my laid-back Lab Belle freaks out when the vacuum is running. But it is the signs of anxiety and the frequency with which they occur that indicates a problem. Just as with humans, chronic anxiety will affect the dog’s quality of life and shorten the life span. Constantly anxious dogs may also land in a shelter or end up abandoned when a frustrated owner doesn’t understand or want to deal with the behaviors.

Causes of Anxiety in Dogs. 

It is a good idea to rule out restlessness and boredom if your dog is displaying signs of anxiety. Some dogs naturally have a higher energy level than others. They may act stressed when in actuality they just need to release pent up energy. A long walk, a run in the dog park or a swim in a nearby pond will calm this type of dog.

Your dog may become bored if left at home alone any length of time. You will have to determine if the anxiety is due to boredom or if it is actually separation anxiety. Some dogs are content to nap the time away. Others need the stimulation of a good interactive dog toy. Getting a second dog can also be a solution.

Other causes of anxiety in dogs other than traveling in cars or loud noises may be harder to determine. Sometimes changes in the household like a new roommate, new baby or another new pet may be the cause of anxiety. Moving to a new location or even rearranging furniture can unnerve some dogs.

Signs Of Canine Anxiety

  • excessive licking, chewing grooming
  • bald spots, hair loss
  • excessive panting
  • trembling
  • destruction, chewing up objects
  • excessive barking
  • pacing
  • excessive panting, drooling
  • whining
  • biting

Treating Dog Anxiety

Music My Pet

Some people may leave the radio on thinking that the music will “soothe the savage beast” only to come home to destruction. However, erratic patterns and constant changes in music on the radio may worsen the anxiety. Through studies, certain types of classical music have been shown to calm pets.

Music My Pet is a CD produced by Tom Naziolla, a performer from Disney’s Baby Einstein CDs and DVDs. Music My Pet is classical music that is composed of soothing chords from start to finish, which is not true of all classical music. Testimonials praise Music My Pet as being calming for pets recovering from surgery, calming hyper pets and anxiety traveling in cars. It is used in Humane Societies for pets that have been abused.

Dog Sitter DVD

Do you leave the TV on to provide your pet with “company” while you are gone? Studies show that guns, sirens, and other frightening sounds can make a pet very nervous. Try the Dog Sitter DVD instead. I have used this DVD and can personally recommend it.

It brings the sights and sounds of the great outdoors inside for pets that have to stay inside. It can help reduce anxiety from boredom or being alone. Squirrels, monkeys, birds and more scamper and make noises. You do need to introduce this continuous play DVD in segments while you are home with the pet and the instructions do explain this.

Dog Sitter is produced by Sunrise Productions. Steve Cantin, C.O.O., began by creating such for cats and birds, then followed with Dog Sitter. It has received “rave reviews’ by pet owners and experts. Currently, over one million have been sold!

Comfort Zone D.A.P.

Comfort Zone with dog appeasing pheromones is made with 100% safe, synthetic pheromones that mimic the ones that a lactating animal releases. It works to calm pet’s fears of thunder, fireworks, and other upsetting situations. It is available as a plug- in diff user or as a spray. The diff user covers 650 square feet and lasts for 30 days. Comfort zone is great for a new puppy The puppy should have time to mature and become adjusted with just an initial purchase. Try the spray version for travel anxiety. Just spray on a blankie or a bandanna.


The Thundershirt product uses acupressure and maintained pressure to calm dogs. It is like a big full body hug for your pet. Claims are that it is effective for several anxieties including fear of noises (thunder, fireworks) separation anxiety and travel fear. The company reports an 80% effectiveness in anxiety relief for pets.

They have an impressive program of working with shelters and rescue groups, making it possible to change pet behavior for more successful adoption. Currently, Thundershirt is offering its product for a 45-day risk-free trial. If it does not work for your pet return it to the company and it will be donated to one of these rescue groups. Wow! A fantastic deal!

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